Creativity from the Church

 Disclaimer: I'm not one who is expert on both Cs. This post only contains a few personal realizations.    

THERE is a colloquial term coined in the 1800s that comes to mind as I begin to write this post - Sunday best. For the longest time, we may have carried the notion that being a part of a church requires a 'member' to be in his/her finest, within and without - appearing in wrinkle-free clothes, taut collar, polished shoes and an invisible halo to boot. The people worship God by singing hymns in unison with nasal voices and raised hands as part of the 'holy requirement'. They listen to the preacher speak about God's Word just to gain some sense of spirituality, a concept that is seemingly irrelevant to their activities on the rest of the days of the week. Some of us may have even felt that the the church is constricting, if not something worthy of a yawn (or two or three). The church could not possibly have room for the unruly, the liberals, or have space for individuality or creativity. After all, it is a place of order and rhythmical customs (read: bore).

So how does one who is as cool as an ice cube and too slick to follow the 'holy requirements' stated above fit in? A confession is probably due to be able to bring enough flesh into this blog entry. Well you see, I used to believe I'm cool, too. I listen to cool music, I hang out with cool people, and I think cool thoughts (?!). I go to church to satisfy an obligation and keep the other aspects of my life reserved to maintain this state of coolness. But as I became more and more attracted to Christianity, I found out, without dismay, that I'm not really that cool at all.

Like a train running on a single track, my mind is used to the idea that worshiping God only entails prayer and harp-playing. Okay, maybe add the xylophone, tambourine, and those instruments we would never ever hear in a Justin Bieber song. But recently, our church has started to teach us that worship is a lifestyle. The output of all our endeavors based on our skills, talents and profession must be utilized according to the purpose of the One who has given them.

But it took some time for me to reconcile with the idea that creative arts can be used for worship too. For me, it means breaking all the rules; it is almost vulgar to do so, and un-holy to say the least. But then as I observe the works of the Master Artist in nature and in people, I couldn't help but blush. The result of our ingenuity is only a by-product of our encounter with nature. All that our hands can make or our minds can conceive are mere consequences of our being brought out into existence by our Creator.

These realizations have started to influence how and why I should do things. Worship is way more than singing songs on a Sunday morning, and the church is not just a place for confession, communion and prayer. It should be a place where talents are being harnessed and where creative minds converge. I realize that I am actually worshiping with this blog, being grateful to Him who has given me the ability to articulate my thoughts through written words. I now go to church looking forward to a release of even just a tinge of God's creativity on me, expecting that this is the best I could get on a Sunday to be used for the remaining six days of the week. ;-)

Click this LINK to have a preview of what other artists are doing in our church. 

Meanwhile, I received this idea as we were singing worship songs -

Threads of fabric being woven
Lives interlaced, overlapping
Not by mere randomness
Our purposes in transcendence

Like gradients of hues painted in the heavens
It can't be noticed where one begins and where one ends
Linked with a perfect love the whole world has not yet known
We have each other; we're never alone.


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