Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the crisp fresh air in the mornings and the opportunity to wear warm clothes. I love the holidays that are part of the season. As a Canadian, I get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice! Tonight a few Canadian students are coming over to celebrate the holiday, as tomorrow is Canadian Thanksgiving. It will be fun to get to know them and offer them a home away from home for one night. It will also be fun to have turkey leftovers this week!
These aspects of fall are wonderful, but what I relish about the season is the beauty of God’s creativity. Sometimes the brilliance takes my breath away. I’ll round a corner as I drive and be overwhelmed with a tree in full color—yellow, orange, red—what a gift! I am filled with gratitude at the way God has made this world with such beauty. It seems to be that this was not necessary. God could have made the biological aspects of the world mundane. Yet that is not who God is! God is a creator and as beings made in God’s image, we are creators as well.
I’ve wanted to find a way to celebrate this through ICS (Institute for Christian Spirituality). It’s been on my mind for years. At long last, we’re launching a program that celebrates this aspect of who we are and who God is. It’s called Art as Worship and highlights both the process and product of art as a means of worship. We are meeting for the retreat in a setting of beauty at a farm on the meeting of the waters in Franklin. We’ll spend three and a half days together listening to artists speak of the way they integrate faith into their craft and then experiencing the art as worship. As with all programs we offer, there will be a contemplative foundation laid and returned to throughout the retreat (by this I mean we will repeatedly come back to an intimate personal time with God). We will participate in labs taught by the artists, showcase our products, and worship together. The artists at this residency will be using fine arts and writing as the tools with which to connect us with God. If this has whetted your appetite, come join us! You can see more at http://www.lipscomb.edu/ics/Art-As-Worship-Program. The retreat is October 24-27.
Creativity is part of each of us. It may manifest itself in different ways. Some may be creative with visual beauty, some may know how to pull a room together in a certain way, some may know how to work with people in such a way to encourage and inspire them to do their best work—we are all creative in some way. I need to be reminded at times to use my creativity for the one who gave it to me. As with all gifts, I can use it to love God and others or I can use it for selfish gain. It’s about awareness, isn’t it?!
Grace and peace to you,