How many of you consider yourselves creative?
It’s hard to say that about yourself isn’t it?
It’s kind of like saying I’m attractive.
But the reality is each one of us is creative… in different ways… and perhaps at different times in our lives…
Those words that …. Wrote are the very first part of our old testament or Hebrew scriptures.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth… In Hebrew, it is written as: In the beginning of God’s creating… Which speaks to me of ongoing creation, ongoing creativity, that God did not finish at the beginning of time…
That sentiment is echoed in the words of our creed which we proclaim each week, We believe in God who has created and IS creating. Creation isn’t finished; creation is ongoing. God created the world with passion and possibilities… And that passion and possibilities are ongoing and unfolding. Bring into existence that which had only been imagined.
Beginnings… Possibilities…. I want you to close your eyes for a moment and remember a time when you were about to begin something… Maybe a new year of school… Maybe a new job… Maybe a trip to somewhere that you have yearned to go to for years… Maybe a new relationship… On the brink of something… something as yet unformed… unknown… and unfamiliar…
What were some of your feelings? Excitement? Anxiety? Eagerness? Vulnerability? A combination of all those things?
Beginnings are pregnant with possibilities. Beginnings will take you to places and have you enter into experiences that you couldn’t possibly imagine…Beginnings hold the seed of future realities… Think of a couple of our words that have their roots in the word creation: Recreation or re-creation: a time for revitalization and renewal.
I never considered myself very creative… As a child I loved to colour, always keeping within the lines of course. I am so glad that it is not acceptable again to colour as an adult! As an adult I became faintly embarrassed at how much I like precision and order, from how rooms are arranged, where in a room I can sleep and how pictures are hung. I find it difficult to relax in cluttered room and when my desk and office get messy, I am much less productive and at ease.
Somehow I unconsciously absorbed the idea that creativity=chaos and so labelled myself uncreative. This was despite the many ‘creative’ things I have undertaken as an adult: belly dance, piano playing, cross-stitch, stained glass and most recently mosaic. But still a voice inside me whispered, “Yes, but all those things have patterns, you are simply following instructions.”
But, one day as I was colouring a mandala, the one that is up there on the screen, as one part of my mind chose colours to complement and contrast, another part of my mind was soaring and I heard a voice inside saying, “Yes Catherine, you are colouring inside the lines, but I am the one who created order… I am the one who created the mathematical principles on which the mandala is based and music is shaped and dance is constructed, I am in the chaos AND in the order.” (Full text of this blog post can be found here)
Leonard Cohen’s words came to me:
“And like a blessing come from heaven
for something like a second
I was healed and my heart
was at ease.” (Light as a Breeze)
Each one of us is born with the capacity to be creative. It’s in our very nature… it’s in the divine energy… it’s in the divine spark that is in each one of us. It’s a gift that is freely given… Open your hands… open your hearts… to receive it… And in receiving it… don’t compare your creative gifts with anothers…
When we do that, we become self-conscious…And when we become self-conscious, we become inhibited…And when we become inhibited, we risk losing our gift.Sharing our creativity and gifts may feel risky… In fact, I think it ALWAYS feels risky… It’s a step outside our comfort zones. But you know the amazing thing about comfort zones? Once you step outside them… they get bigger… and what felt risky, now feels comfortable…
In the beginning… of God’s creating… We are at the start of the year… committees and groups start meeting… the choir is back… Sunday School will be back soon… and the work of the Transition Team and this Interim Ministry starts in earnest.
I have been so thankful and feel so blessed that we were able to take my first 6-8 months with you to get to know you… to host the the Listening Circles and learn part of your story… I have been compiling the results of the Listening Circles and while it is interesting, it is requires great attention to detail! Taking responses, such as 97 suggestions of what we might do to be a faithful congregation and finding common themes… is taxing my research skills.
The report will be presented on October 30th… after our combined service and a potluck lunch. We plan to offer babysitting to make it possible for everyone to participate and engage with the report and conversation… which will ultimately lead our way forward.
Each of you has a creative gift that only YOU can offer to our faith community. And it may be something that you weren’t aware you had to offer.
In the beginning, when God created, God looked at the world and called it good.
But not just way back when, but even now, God is creating, calling us to join the work of making the world good. (Teri Peterson – Liturgy Link)
Listen to these words, written by Marianne Williamson, made famous by Nelson Mandela: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Thanks be to God for beginnings… for creativity… for the opportunity and challenge of being God’s people. Amen.
Genesis 1: 1-5
September 11, 2016 – Elmsdale Pastoral Charge