We need to include the arts as an integral,
intentional component of our worship
and precursor to mission.
As people made in the image of a creative, Artist God
we are imbued with God's powerful, creative spirit-
but we need to use it.
We are invited to be co-creators with and
for our God in this broken, beautiful world-
but we need to practice.
The Arts in all forms are not merely an
addition, entertainment nor simply decoration.
The Arts engender awareness: of self, of others, of relationship.
They bring us into the moment and invite, even evoke, a response.
They can communicate truths in a fresh way.
They help us to see more deeply into our own situations,
and the realities of others.
They call us to explore our own experiences with new eyes.
They pose questions and present issues.
The arts can open anew the 'hearts of our eyes.'
Awareness and creativity need to be paired with love at the very heart of mission.
How can we serve others if we do not know them: their needs, their dreams,
their potential, their culture, their place in God's heart?
How can we serve others if we are not aware of ourselves: our gifts,
our biases and our prejudices, our motives, our injuries, our hatreds;
our place in God's heart?
How can we hope to navigate through this fallen world and the brokenness of humanity
if we lack imagination; if we cannot see beauty, or possibilities; if we are afraid of process;
if we are unable unable to stop mid-flight and start again . . . and again . . .
If we do not understand the importance of beauty in our own lives,
why would we consider it for others?
As we, God's children, are open to and embrace
our own creative identities
we will, as individuals and communities,
be compelled to live in ways that redeem
the inherent creative potential of all of God's creation.
By Sharon Tiessen, artist-in-residence, Weston Park Baptist Church