Publicly Proclaiming the Glory of God in Cambridge 

By Charles Kelley with Natalie Meeks

The touring family and I continued around the courtyard to the Ladder of the World.  I spoke about the cross that Christ died on and why he died, recounting the symbolism of the cross.  I pointed out that this sculpture was designed in such a way that the unique way, or ladder, joining heaven and earth – Solus Christus. 

His crucifixion and resurrection made  transcendence possible, from relational brokenness to harmony with God and neighbor. We stood there together, each of us soaking up the reflected rays of the gleaming rungs.

“Christ is the way,” I explained. “The only bridge to God.” Slowly, we walked next to the Anchor Cast up to Heaven. This piece envisions a gravity-defying anchor which has been thrown upwards from something that resembles a boat. What does this look like to you?” I asked the man, pointing to the base of the sculpture. Thoughtfully, he walked around, assessing the piece. “A sinking boat,” he replied, intrigued.

“This boat is like all of our lives, yours and mine alike; we are all on a journey, that journey is hard and we need help because all of our boats will eventually sink like this one. When a ship is in danger, the captain throws the anchor down. But when our lives are sinking, we need to throw the anchor up where it catches the throne of God. That is real security, real safety.”

We had come nearly full circle, standing now before the final sculpture, The Trumpet in the Universe. Fifteen brass rods shoot up from the base of the trumpet, piercing small balls and layered spheres to span the dimensions of the universe, from microscopic to gigantic. Around the base are 12 inscriptions from different disciplines, representing the development of the arts and sciences, and emphasizing that everything from celestial spheres in the heavens down to sub-atomic particles resounds with the Creator’s glory and praises Him. Triumphant and majestic, The Trumpet in the Universe is the tallest sculpture…17’7” and the most visible of all. Throughout history, trumpets would sound to announce the presence of the king; this gleaming, golden trumpet proclaims the presence of the Living King.  This proclamation is not simply about presence; it is about praise. And isn’t merely private praise; it is public praise. “That’s what the exhibition is about,” I concluded. “It’s public praise.”

The heat of the sun that beat down on Cambridge that day in July has cooled, and the names of the visitors viewing the exhibition continue to change. But the truths represented by the magnificent brass forms gracing Great Saint Mary’s lawn will forever remain the same.  The Archetypes exhibition is expected to be seen by up to a million people. We pray that they will touch many more hearts over the coming months as they bring witness to our King of Glory and reflect our need for Him.

And we thank our Creator God for the language of art to proclaim the Good News – to you and to me, to a Chinese family visiting Cambridge, and to the ends of the earth.

The Trumpet in the Universe is the tallest sculpture and most visible of all.  The vision for the piece came from the refrain of the reformers-“Soli Deo Gloria.”