02 May 2014

The One Who Creates

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14

The aspect of the Godhead that I will discuss today is the One Who Creates or Creator God. I find this image more meaningful than God the Father, but also not anathema to it. Fathers are creators because they have created life, as mothers have. Creator God is a way to talk about a parent God without need to push a gender on that parental love. If you have ever created something (a baby, a painting, a bookshelf, etc.) you might have been able to catch of glimpse of the kind of Love our Creator has for us. God knit us together, taking care to make each part Perfect, as our Heavenly Creator is Perfect. God is invested in us and rejoices in our success. Creation doesn't stop once we are born. We are reshaped and recreated over and over throughout our lives. Our Creator is dynamic and involved in our formation beyond the initial spark of our birth. 

While I think of one part of the Godhead as specifically Creator, it is my understanding that each part of the Trinity plays a role in Divine Creation. It would be helpful to now remember the way I understand the Trinity running parallel to our own personhood (mind, body, spirit). I will employ this analogy to demonstrate how each part of the Trinity is a part of the act of Creation. Say, I’m making some art. I create it in my mind first, shaping and molding it with my mind’s eye. It is Created one way because of the way I think about it. But the way I shape it with my hands changes it because of what my hands do and what the material does. If I combine those two things with loving that piece of art, then it is Created even differently still. When you love something you imbue a part of yourself in it. My mind, my body and my spirit each contribute to the Creation of art, and the contribution of each makes that art more perfect. That is how the Divine has created each thing, imbuing a piece of Godself in each creation.

Creation is a truly joyous exercise. It is good and is meant to be enjoyed and rejoiced in. It is my belief that we can learn Truth by examining the experience of our embodied selves. If we examine sex, arguably one of the purest forms of creation, we can see that the pleasure of it is proof positive that creation is to be enjoyed thoroughly. It is in this way that we can catch a glimpse of the Joy God takes in Creation.

I believe that our Great Creator Created the Universe. Perhaps it was created with a big bang and then slow movement. Perhaps it was created in a single week. That is not the point. The point is that the Great Creator Created. Everything Created was so divinely intricate and perfect that we will never be able to comprehend the magnitude of our Creation. The Great Creator also Created a balance so sacred that to defy it is sin. All things were Created in Grace. I do not understand the idea that God and science cannot be reconciled because science is merely the study of Creation. If the study of Creation tells us that we have evolved from primates, then that is true. If science tells us that Earth is billions of years old, then that is true. We should not reject the Truth that our Creator has placed in the world around us. Through the very act of Creating, God has become a part of the Creation. It is because of this that we are called to live harmoniously with God’s Creation.


This past weekend I attended a retreat with my church, West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship. I was asked to lead worship along with two of my friends, Megan and Mercy. It was such a wonderful experience not only to be planning the service, but to be planning it with my friends. We seemed to thrive on each other's ideas and came up with some really interesting things to do during the service. The piece I was most excited about, though, is that we structured the service to mirror the Trinity. And, as I made known last week, I'm a little obsessed with the Trinity. We titled the three "movements" of the service Creating, Relating and Dwelling. The section I was in charge of was our opening, Creating.

Since it was the opening, I decided to focus on the idea of creating a space for worship. As I thought about it, though, it morphed into creating as worship. I love the idea that the very act of creating something can be worshipful, so I started considering ways I could incorporate this into the service. I had the idea to have an opportunity to create art during the opening singing worship. The congregation would then be invited to bring up their art and place it on the altars as an offering. I decided to have one station with origami paper and some simple instructions, one with paper and markers and crayons and one with clay. While I was excited about the idea, I knew that there was a lot of potential for things to go wrong; as is the case whenever you have moving parts that you've never had before on a Sunday morning. I asked the song leader to pick familiar songs so that people could continue singing while they were working on their art. I told several people about the plan beforehand so that some people would be prepared. I asked people for suggestions on how best to explain it. I did my best to make sure everything would run smoothly, but was mentally prepared for everything to fall apart.

The morning of the service, I set up the altars and decorated them with cloth, leaving space for the creations. I spread out the supplies for each medium on three tables in the back of the worship space. And then I said a prayer that things at least wouldn't totally fall apart. Once the service started, I stood in front of the congregation and explained my idea. I then walked to my seat as the song leader began the first song. I held my breath until the first person got up to go to the back to create. Then a small stampede of children followed. Then more and more people began filtering back. I walked to the back of the room to see how everything was going and the only way I can describe my feeling is overwhelmed. It was perfect. Everything went perfect. I was overwhelmed by the blessing of it.

Creation is a Sacred space. But it's also so incredibly accessible. Every single one of us is capable of creation. Each of us can share in the Joy of our Creator. We can Create corporately or on our own. We can Create with our voices, our hands, our minds. Creation can be found all around us all the time. When we take time to focus on Creation, whether that be observing nature or creating art, we are focusing on God. 

The altars from church on Sunday.

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