Worship Materials: Creativity/Beauty/Imagination

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

THEME          Made in the image of the God who makes and remakes.

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. New images arise out of the death of old images so do not be afraid of the wilderness or of the dying.
  2. The journey inwards to the place of the inner child is a journey of unlearning – reclaiming trust in one’s creativity and spirituality.
  3. The essence of creativity lies not in slavishly copying someone else’s creativity but in trusting the integrity and complexity of one’s own.
  4. The price of professionalism in the arts has been to encourage the false belief that the great bulk of human beings are uncreative and that creativity is only to be found within the so-called arts.
  5. A five year old child is 90 % creative but most adults operate at a 2% creativity level.
  6. To create a thing of beauty is to create something of the image of God and in so doing become more godlike oneself, for God is beauty.
  7. To give flesh to an idea is an act of incarnation.
  8. The person who has never made a mess has never made anything!
  9. Enlightenment lies not in the denial of the senses but in the training of the senses, for the beyond always lies within.
  10. Do not be afraid of the dragon within you. It is the source of your creativity  but it will consume you if you suppress it.
  11. Creativity is part of being in touch with one’s life-force but creativity can be used destructively if it is not directed by compassion.
  12. The path of beauty lies between the decoration that confuses and the simplicity that devalues, between decadent ornamentation and puritanical ugliness.
  13. Creativity can promote the liberation of the people or act as a tool of the oppressor. So look for the hidden message.
  14. Poverty is a prison for the body, ugliness a prison for the spirit.
  15. In playing with the words or images there emerges new discernment of reality.
  16. Ugliness breeds ugliness, beauty breeds beauty therefore cultivate beauty in your spirit.
  17. Don’t confuse simplicity with ugliness. Good design however functional is never ugly. There is no ugliness in nature however simple the form may be.
  18. Simplicity is usually more difficult to achieve than complexity. The flowery sermon is not the product of genius but is usually the product of a flowery mind. An appropriate word is far better than an inappropriate deluge.
  19. The act of creativity is a sharing in the energy of God the Creator.
  20. Taste is the ability to do without.
  21. Between the extremes of sterile tidiness and immobilizing chaos lies the dynamic inter-activeness of creativity
  22. Ownership can become an obstacle to appreciation for appreciation springs from allowing oneself to be owned by the work of art rather than visa versa.
  23. If you have not seen the mystery behind and within the beauty you have seen very little.
  24. Behind all beauty there ultimately lies the tender touch of the divine artist.
  25. Without images the mind becomes imprisoned in arid intellectualism.
  26. Work can be as destructive of human beings as unemployment if it does not promote beauty, love, creativity and justice.

PRAYERS

  1. PRAYER OF AFFIRMATION

All:  I AM A LOVABLE, CREATIVE PERSON

MADE IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD.

I GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION TO ENJOY BEING MYSELF

TO LOVE WITHOUT FEAR OF REJECTION,

TO CREATE WITH IMAGINATION,

TO CHANGE WITHOUT FEAR OF THE FUTURE,

TO WORK FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE AS A SINGER AND DANCER

WITHIN GOD’S ALL EMBRACING CREATIVITY.

  1. Help us to accept that perfectionism is a good servant but a bad master and that creativity is not a product but a process.
  2. PRAYER OF CONFESSION

O God, we acknowledge that we have not fully used all the gifts which you have given us.

You have given us eyes but we have not always noticed the beauty of the world nor the hurts of other people.

You have given us ears but we have not always heard the songs of nature nor listened to what people are really saying.

You have given us fingers but we have not always felt the world with reverence nor touched other people as tenderly as we could.

You have given us a sense of smell but we are part of a society which pollutes the air as well as the earth, the rivers and the sea.

All:  HELP US, STARTING FROM NOW, TO ENJOY OUR SENSES AND TO WORSHIP YOU WITH OUR SEEING AND HEARING, OUR SENSE OF SMELL AND OF TOUCH, AS WELL AS WITH OUR THINKING.

  1. PRAYER ON JUSTICE, BEAUTY AND LOVE

O God, you are the God of right distribution,

the right distribution of color, line,

shape, mass, texture,

movement and sound;

and you are also the God of the right distribution of wealth and power.

Give us a new commitment to work to replace

ugliness with beauty,

oppression with liberation

and poverty with sufficiency,

that all your children may share the quality of life

which is their birthright.

  1. O God, help us not to be afraid of either failure or chaos for it is out of failure that new solutions can arise, out of chaos that new order emerges
  1. RESPONSE FOR PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING

O God, you are the earth-maker Cosmic Creator.  Help us to make and to love like you, with you and for you.

 

HYMNS

May the sap flow in our hearts. (BL)

From the womb of mother Earth. (BL)

In the world of nature’s weaving (BL)

God the one forever making. (BL)

From the silence God created. (BL)

When skin becomes the surface of the Earth. (BL)

As flesh reveals a path. (BL)

Come let us think. (BL)

Who is this Herod in my heart. (BL)

 

Gift of the solar fire.

www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/boundlesslife

God molds the shapes of life.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

With God we shape compassion’s robe.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

Rise O my heart.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

The spring will come again.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

 

God the sacred cosmic life-blood. (STS1)

Throughout the realms of being. (STS2)

Be like young children. (STS2)

If my heart grows icy cold. (STS2)

Come dream the pattern. (STS 2)

Singing the Sacred Vol 1 2011, Vol 2 2014 World Library Publications

 

SONG FOR TEENS

Abraham had stirring dreams. (SYSJ)

 

POEMS / REFLECTIONS

THE PATTERN OF THE ACT OF CREATION

  1. The Motivation: The Desire for Change
  2. The Information: Collecting the Data for Change
  3. The Manipulation and Hibernation: Living with Chaos
  4. The Illumination: The New Insight
  5. The Verification: The Change
  6. The Celebration: The Peace

THE FIRE

‘Why do you write poetry?’ he asked.

The answer is simple;

sometimes, suddenly

a pattern of words

catches fire

in my brain

and I must

wrestle with it,

commit it to paper,

if I am not to suffer a small death

at the hands

of its searing intensity.

That fire is not an enemy indeed, I wrestle

with it

with reverence

as in some way,

beyond my comprehension, I know

the fire

is God. (see John 1:4)

 

A SONG

Between the thing that I see

And the thing that I am

There lies a song.

 

THE TRANSPARENT JESUS

Between decadent ornamentation and puritanical ugliness stands the transparent Man of Galilee neither dependant upon ostentation nor of vilification of the flesh but clothed in simple garments which hide a coherent inner complexity.

 

THE ACT OF CREATION(Genesis 1:1-2:4)

In the beginning was the person, an organism consciously or unconsciously recording all the stimuli to which it was exposed.

Then came the desire to create, the subsequent wrestling with ideas, followed by a great silent darkness falling upon the person’s mind.

Suddenly there was an awakening premonition and just as instantaneously, a flash of insight. The stored stimuli and conscious ideas had been re-organized by the subconscious mind to create something NEW – something that filled the person with ecstasy and allowed them to experience a great sense of relaxation.

Then came a refining and testing of the insight and the production of appropriate strategies.

Lastly, came the action – the giving of flesh to ideas.

The creative incarnation was complete.

 

THE STORY OF ELIZABETH

Once upon a time there was a girl called Elizabeth who wanted to make something different, something new. Elizabeth noticed everything that was going on around her. She dreamt about new ways of making things, she had fun playing and she enjoyed having a rest.

Then one day a new thought suddenly flashed into her mind ‑

‘WOW’ said Elizabeth, ‘this is like heaven, this is like being God. I wonder where that thought came from?’

But it was not enough for Elizabeth to have that new thought -Elizabeth had to test it to see if it would work; Elizabeth had to turn it into something that could be seen or heard or touched or smelt.

If she had not done that, the thought would have stayed in Elizabeth’s head and no one apart from Elizabeth would ever have known what it was.

Can you guess what Elizabeth made?

 

UNFETTERED MIGRANTS

Though I am more than my words

My words are also more than me:

liberated they explore where I could never go

Landing in hearts of people I could never know.

These linguistic migrants

Leave behind the space

Of imperfection and mistakes

To become

Unfettered

Emanations

Of the within

And beyond

Of I AM’s

Realm.

 

CREATING

If we are called to be like God and to work with God then we are surely called to create beautiful new things as well as to remake what is broken. But to create we must first see, hear, touch and smell the wonderful and painful world around us.

 

THREE STAGES OF ANALYSIS OF BEAUTY

  1. See beauty.
  2. See behind the beauty to the obscenity of any oppression that financed that beauty.
  3. See behind the obscenity to the beauty of the mystery.

 

FOCUS FOR ACTION

  1. What messages about my creativity have I learnt in the past?
  1. Am I prevented from experimenting with my creativity by fear of failure? Who gave me my ideas of what is good and bad in this area? Should I not remind myself that experimentation and failure are necessary parts of the creative process?
  1. How can I achieve a better balance in a way that allows me to be both programmed and creative?
  1. How can I re-programme my thinking so that I regard activities such as gardening and cooking etc. as being opportunities for expression of creativity? If being creative is creating new patterns with
    ideas,
    words,
    sounds,
    materials,
    movements,
    human relationships;
    is satisfying fun,
    is being yourself,
    is being like God,
    and can help us discover a spirituality which we can be sure is really our own,
    Then how can we reorganize our lives to allow for more time to live in the world of the senses, to nurture our dreaming and to become more playful?

Celebrating Mystery Logo

LOGO NOTE: At the heart of the mystery all the separate boxes disappear and all is one, all is love.

Text and graphic © William Livingstone Wallace but available for free use.

 

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