The Call to CreativityPosted on: August 8, 2018, by : David
We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life, as from the beginning he had meant us to live it. [Eph 2:10]
This week we commence a special series of gatherings designed to affirm and appreciate the amazing creativity that is resident within The Avenue Church of Christ. Throughout August we will hear from, and view the work of, several people with diverse creative gifts. The above verse from Ephesians will be our catch-cry as we explore the creativity that is the essence of God and at the heart of all God’s creatures.
Too frequently I hear people say something like, ‘But I don’t have a creative bone in my body!’ To which my response (not always verbalised) is, ‘Rubbish!’ I do understand that not everyone can paint or quilt or decorate cakes or play music or dance or write stories or undertake creative problem-solving … … BUT, I am convinced that everyone has the capacity for creativity and that everyone is called to exercise creativity in life.
Here’s my reasoning. The evidence is that God, however we conceive God, is essentially creative: nearly every spiritual tradition has a story of creation as a primary activity of God, and for those of us who stand in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the image of God as creator is central to our understanding. We also speak of humanity being created ‘in the image of God’. What do we mean by that? Not that we ‘look’ like God (or, contrary to centuries of art and theology, that God looks like us!), but rather that in some mysterious way there is a spark of God’s Spirit planted deep within our soul, enabling us to ‘tune in’ to God and to participate with God in God’s creative activity. If we are to reflect the image of God then it will be essentially visible through our capacity for creativity. The more obvious creative expressions like art and music and writing will be a part of that visibility, but there’s a much more important and all-encompassing dimension of creative expression – the capacity to be life-givers rather than life-deniers.
This is the creative endeavour to which we are all called: to ensure, as far as humanly possible, that every action we take, every word we speak, every choice we make is life-giving for ourselves, for others, for creation. How would that mantra shape community attitudes to refugees and asylum-seekers? How would that mantra speak into the violence and abuse that is too prevalent in our community? How would that mantra impact on decisions about taxation and shape our business dealings?
It is my belief that the invitation to be life-givers rather than life-deniers is at the heart of Jesus’ teaching and is perhaps the best creative activity in which we can engage. It is the purest expression of our partnership with the Spirit of God. And it is a creative pursuit in which each and every one of us is called to share. I hope you enjoy our exploration of this ‘theology’ throughout the month of August.