What’s the first thing we know about God? I’ll give you a hint, it’s the first sentence in the Bible. Now I suppose one could argue that the words “in the beginning” reflect God’s eternal nature, but the next two words reflect the first thing we know of the actions of God… God created. It’s true God is creative.
What’s the first thing we know about Jesus? Well if you look at the Gospel of John where Jesus is referred to as “The Word” a reference to the Greek concept of an eternal wisdom which the called the logos, again we start off seeing His eternal and divine nature as we read In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God from the beginning. Jesus is eternal as well but what do we learn next? “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Translation Jesus is the Creator of everything.
So if I have this right, God the Father, in whose image we are created, is creative and the Savior whose example we are called and created to follow, is creative and if Christ made it possible for us to become the Children of God, would it not stand to reason that we should be creative too? I believe the answer is yes. I believe creativity is a sort of divine spark given to us by our Father in heaven. Ephesians 2:10 a verse frequently referenced in this volume says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” I believe God has gifted each of us with some sort of creativity and I believe it was given to show the world His glory.
There was a long period of time where the church was one of the chief patrons of the arts, yet today in many churches we see little evidence of the artists in our midst. I believe this needs to change. For too long, we in the church have been allowing culture to impact us, when we should be impacting culture for (and through) our gracious God and Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. My belief is that God is calling His church to rise up to be the parts of a powerful body, having a lasting impact and making a difference. For too long we have whined and complained about the negative impact of the culture around us rather than using the creative gifts and power God has placed in us to impact the culture positively.
We talk about a culture war. There is no culture war, there is an onslaught from the media and little response beyond letter writing campaigns and protests and a lot of negativity. There is complaining about what we don’t have and the resources we lack rather than reliance on the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Our response has been to hole up, create a bunch of Christian stuff just for us as we hide under our bushel. There is nothing wrong with creating for the church and some are called to that very thing, but what of the world we are called to reach. I, for one, think it’s time to throw off the bushel and shine. I think it’s time to reclaim the arts, become patrons of the arts not just for ourselves but for our mission field. I think it’s time to ask God to channel our creativity in and out of the church, so that the church once again becomes the most creative place in any community.
I think it’s time to Run A.M.O.K. Whose with me?
A little extra from my friend Mr. Joe.
Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Numbers 5-6; 1 Peter 2
You can also download your own chart here.