In the eighth in a series of articles from Through-Lines: Defining What a Christian Is – beauty-creating Christians praise God through creativity.
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.
—Colossians 1:16 (NIV)
My favorite story about beauty-creating is hearing about a young kindergarten boy working diligently on a painting. He showed it off by yelling to his teacher, “Look! I’m a beauty-creator!” He understood that as a child he could celebrate God by creating something.
As adults, we make a huge mistake when we don’t play, or draw, or sing, or dance. We also err when we assume that what we do in the day-to-day is not creative. We multiply these mistakes if we discourage children in their play, or their art, because it’s “childish.” When we deny creativity, we sin, because doing creative work is who we are, because we are the image of the Creator.
I picked the right Sunday to visit a church one time. They were focusing on “Christians and the Arts” with a panel discussion including visual artists, actors, and dancers. Everyone praised God for His generous gift of creativity to each of these performers. They were beauty-creators. Then the pastor stood up and confessed his envy of the artists; he said, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body!”
But then he broke into a spontaneous, neatly crafted sermon without the benefit of any notes. In spite of himself, he too was a beauty-creator.
As ministry leaders, encourage play and games. In church, push for all of the arts not just music (and all kinds of music). Equip families and church members to attend a play, a concert, an art gallery, and a film premiere and discuss these things often. Encourage music in the house, in the church, and in the car (In the car, make sure the family listens together!). Take an interest in children’s music choices and share with them what you like. Look at and listen to art that expresses joy, sorrow, and every part of the human condition, and share. Encourage the viewing of art that proclaims God’s word and artists who use talents to respond to God’s word. Get your children involved in your church’s drama presentations, music teams, banner making, flower arranging, etc.
Make something interesting.