Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Art of Worship

An article in today's paper caught my eye.

'ART OF WORSHIP.' the big headline screamed.

The smaller headline chanted ' is part of a trend that urges worshippers to use their creativity to connect with a higher power.' Evidently, there is a growing trend to include various forms of visual art in some churches, especially churches of Protestant descent.

One of the quotes from the article is 'God is the master artist. And if God creates, we are to do it as well, because we were designed to imitate God."


We were designed in God's image, which tells me that we are created to be creators, too. Isn't that cool? Maybe not of worlds or universes in a material sense, but certainly through words, images, and thoughts. C.S. Lewis's Narnia, anyone? Or J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth? Maybe we don't create mountains, but we can certainly photograph or paint one, can't we? Then print, frame and hang the print in an artistically pleasing manner, right?

Whether you bring beauty to a room by an artful arrangement of flowers and furniture or whether you express your love of color in a quilt or garden project or whether you highlight injustice and forgiveness in your most recent film-making project, you are using the talents God gave you.

To not use them seems downright sinful.

But, but, sputter....but I'm not creative. I don't have original ideas. I use patterns in my fabric art. My fiction sounds like a re-hashed plot from someone's else's story.

Please stop!

Ever compared the story lines of King Arthur, Star Wars, and Harry Potter? You'll find Arthur, Luke, and Harry have a lot of similarities. It's okay to build on someone else's ideas. You'll always add your own flair to the project that will make it an original.

You've just let the fear get you. Or you've forgotten the joys of working with your hands, the pleasures of creating. You've let your fresh ideas get buried under a mound of laundry. You've allowed your work, your loved ones, or your own sense of unworthiness to keep you from doing something you love.

Please stop!

Make an artistic date with yourself. Put it on your calendar. Let the Master of the Universe see you celebrate the skills He has given you.

4 Other Creative Souls are Saying:

SusanC said...

DD's most recent story is pretty much a tweaked version of her favorite book. I think it's great! We all start by copying the masters before we move on to define our own voice or vision. So go ahead and rehash Arthur. As you write, you'll discover new things about the way you express yourself. It won't be the story that gets you published, but the very fact that you were able to write THE END on something is a major achievement.
When it's over, use the lessons you learned and start your own story. If you don't start somewhere, you'll never get anywhere.

DebMc said...

Exactly, Susan!

Richard D said...

You're so right. God has given each of us creative talent. Each person's creativity is not the same as everyone else's creativity. So not everyone needs to be a good writer, but if you have a passion for writing, you should pursue it--even if at the beginning you are just imitating someone else whose writing inspires you.

Whatever we're passionate about, we have the creative ability to pursue. An accountant will be able to come up with much more creative uses of math and accounting than I ever could.

The thing that I think is so awesome is that God's image shines from each of us in our creativity. Even those who do not acknowledge God bring a degree of glory to Him when they pursue their creative gifts with excellence. A majestic symphony, an emotive photographic portrait, a beautifully landscaped and manicured lawn--each done by atheists--brings glory to God whose image they bear, which allows them to create these amazing works of creativity.

Great post!

Kim said...

A great book about this subject is Frances Schaeffer's "Addicted to Mediocrity." In it Schaeffer reminds us that as Christians we have always been on the forefront of art down through the ages. In recent times we have gone from the masterpieces of Michelangelo to tacky plastic bibles to be displayed in our home. God commanded, yes commanded the Jews to create a work of art of the tabernacle. Several years ago the thought was to make our churches as ugly as possible to show how holy we were. But the Bible has shown us just the opposite from the creation, to the rainbow God sent Noah and the building of the tabernacle.
Ecc. 9:10 tells us "whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might."
I found you through Mrs. Wilt's blog, we are friends both in person and on-line.