You are – we are – creative people made in the image of a creating God, called to be generative, vital forces in this world.
Though many of us understandably associate creativity with the arts, creativity is not limited to artistic expression. Consider that every conversation we have is completely improvised. Creativity is in everything: leadership, neuroscience, parenting, justice-seeking, coloring, biology, gardening, cooking, athletics, spirituality, friendship, ethics, law, love, meteorology, medicine, and on and on it goes.
But, of course, we know that the world doesn’t always feel like a generative place. There are deaths, both literal and spiritual, that haunt us, stifle us, keep us small. Shame can feel like death. So can comparison or consumerism or fear, or perhaps a death-dealing word or trauma from our past.
What is totally baffling and wonderful is that the story of God is one of entering directly into sites of death and creating new life from those very places. Jesus, who names himself The Way and The Truth and The Life, literally dies and is buried. Death isn’t the whole point of Christ’s story, but it’s the way that The Way goes in order to begin the birthing of the new creation, something no eye has seen and no ear has heard. It’s from this place that Jesus’ words from Revelation 21 resound most prophetically: “See! I am making all things new!”
Creativity tangles with death. Life dies before it can be resurrected. I’m not sure there’s any way around the relationship between life, death, and new life, but I am sure that God has made each of us with unique, creative gifts that contribute to the ongoing new-life-ing of the world. We’re not alone here even when it feels like death because God is with us. And as Diane, Rich, and April pointed out on Sunday, we are with each other. We need others to help call us further into the fullness of our creative, generating selves and to encourage us when we try to discount our good gifts.
So how has God made you to be a creative, vital force in the world? Do you feel alive in your creativity? Or are you in a deathly place? How can we, as your community, help you to imagine with God what creative aliveness is for you? If you want community support, I encourage you to be brave and reach out. Who knows what could be waiting?
by Carrie Cates