Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Creation Art

A while ago Kevin and I had a conversation about different forms of worship and how that looks or feels within the Church body. This led to him asking me to read and reflect on a passage (Genesis 1-2:3) to gain inspiration and then somehow depict what I got out of that passage in my own worshipful way. I was asked to think about what worship means to me as I read this passage and how I would express that worship. The passage describes the glorious thing that God has done by creating this earth for us and by creating us to live on this earth as examples of His love. We have received this gift, regardless of how undeserving we feel we are of it. No matter how overwhelmed, humbled or undeserving we may feel, God has still given us this gift. Even if we try and shy away from it we are still recipients of God's love and stewards of this Earth. The fact that God granted us dominion over His Creation, enforces how we are responsible of caring for all of God's creation.

The act of making this piece was a good exercise for me as it reminded me of how we have a caring and loving Saviour who has entrusted us with so much, yet he is still intimately involved in our lives. As I made the painting I was mindful of worship and used it as a medium to connect with God. This medium works for me as it allows me to say what I am feeling without having to find the words. The end result often says more than I may realize at the time and I often find that I will not know why I put something into my art until months later.

Thanks.
Nathan.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Creation & Christ


This past Sunday I spoke about creation and how Christ is central to our understanding of the Genesis 1 account.  We can see that into the New Testament the centrality of Christ in creation is a primary means through which believers worship God.  Christ was there in the beginning.  All things were made by him and through Him.  He holds all things together.  As we look to worship God in the creation account, we inevitably worship not simply God, but the trinity and Christ’s significance in the creation account.  Therefore I wanted to pass on some quotes that I shared as a means for deeper reflection.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
            In the act of believing in creation, we accept and enter into and submit to what God does – what God made and makes.  We are not spectators of creation but participants in it.  We participate first of all by being born, but then we realize that our births all take place in the defining context of Jesus’ birth (The Word – the creating agent – became flesh and dwelt among us).  The Christina life is the practice of living in what God has done and is doing.  We want to know the origins of things not to satisfy our curiosity about fossils and dinosaurs and the “big bang’ but so that we can live out our origins.   We don’t want lives to be tacked on to something peripheral.  We want to live origin-ally, not derivatively.
            So we begin with Jesus.  Jesus is the revelation of the God who created heaven and earth; He is also the revelation of the God who is with us, Immanuel.  Karl Barth goes on into immense detail (he wrote four fat volumes on it) to make the single point:  “We have established that from every angle Jesus Christ is the key to the secret of creation.”          -Eugene Peterson. 
           


John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
            “It was by God’s word that all things came to be.  All that is, is by God’s word – for his word is not other than His deed.  He spoke and all things were created, and by his word they exist. If we ask the fundamental question of the philosopher “Why is there not nothing?”  The answer is that “in the beginning was the Word.”  The fact that there is “something” is not an afterthought or an accident.  God’s creative word, which is also his revealing word, was with Him before time was.  The creative word of God is God, for none but God can create.  The revealing word is none other than God, for none but God can reveal God.  But this revealing word is not an abstraction of the inquiring philosopher.  The word is “He,” Jesus,  . . . He, Jesus, is the one who is God’s word, who is God, and who was God from before time was.” - Lesslie Newbigin

Colossians 1:15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. . .  19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
            “It was for the Son that all things were created (v.17) The Son is not only the agent of creation, He is also the goal and end of creation.  That is to say, creation was created to be His, and to give Him glory.  Creation was created by the Son, and it was created that finally it might be his and that in its worship and its love He might find His honour and His joy.  The world was created in order that it might ultimately belong to Jesus Christ.” – William Barclay

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Creation


“The Spirit of God that moved over the face of the waters “in the beginning” continues to move, continues to create. The Genesis creation text is not confined to telling us how the world came into being, it is also a witness to the creation work of the Spirit of God now. The verb “create” in our Bibles is used exclusively with God as its subject. Men and women and angels don’t create. Only God creates.”
Eugene Peterson

As we examine the creation narrative we see that it is set in such a way as to draw us into worship of the One who is creating. We hope you will join us for this series and be challenged to grow in your desire to worship Him who was before all things.