All the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross. Colossians 1:20 (MSG)
Reconciling All Things – Creativity Series – Part 5
Paul wrote to his friends in Colossae and said that Jesus, the Son, was there in the beginning, that he created everything, it all got started it him, and he holds it ‘all’ together. Col 1:20 (MSG) says that Jesus “reconcile[d] to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
Reconciliation means, “an adjustment of a difference, and restoration to favour.” It’s about wholeness after a self-depleting experience. I don’t know about you, but for me, depending on the context, ‘reconciliation’ evokes two different responses in me.
The first is relief that I can reconcile my past; I can be made whole, have closure, completion and growth through the things that have happened to me, good and bad. It’s a hopeful, empowering, ‘everything will make sense in the end’ feeling.
The second is messier because it includes reconciling with other people. The Jewish tradition of repentance, Teshuvah, wasn’t just about turning to God, it included turning to OTHERS and to God – both are part of the redemptive process. We repent with God as we repent with others. It runs hand in hand with a bunch of things Jesus said, including God’s two (really three) greatest commandments; “love God, love others, love you.”
Reconciling with God? Good news. Reconciling with others? The world about me? The awful things that are happening? That’s another story.
Abuse, neglect, greed, manipulation, lies, cheats, misunderstandings, offences, lost time, harsh words, unrequited love, genocide, gendercide, misogyny, cultural differences, labels, wars, violence, tyranny, terrorism… Can we reconcile these things? The people involved in these things? Our involvement in these things?
Here’s where creativity comes into its own.
My creativity is birthed from my experiences. My life is its springboard. The creative process takes these inspirations I get from my life experiences, good and bad, and births something new from them through my chosen medium. For, e.g.,. The concept for a novel can come from an interaction with a stranger; the idea for a song can come from a treasured evening with a loved one; the idea for a painting can come from childhood experiences; a poem from our days at high school; a short story from heartache, a sketch from an afternoon walk. All creative acts are birthed in our hearts and minds through what we experience, see, taste and hear. How we outwork these experiences through our creative mediums can take what we’ve been through and transform it into something new, something different. In a way, a lot of creativity is about reconciling the things that we hear and see with some kind of meaning.
Once I create a work, a new one is birthed… they are birthed all the time. Because I keep having new experiences, I keep on creating new things. Perhaps the reason why creative people live with so much dissonance, why a lot of us struggle to feel complete and whole and at peace with the world and ourselves, is because the work is never finished. The creating is perpetual, relentless… always marching onwards whether we are ready or not.
Christ is as equally as creative with our lives, and even more so.
There is no glossy answer to the question, “If God is so creative, why doesn’t he snap his fingers and make all things new, now.”
But ‘making new' isn’t about creating a clean slate, a new shiny skin, or a past that's perfect and clean. The newness Christ brings into our lives is reconciling, not forgetful, of our past and present. The cross takes those experiences to somewhere hopeful, inclusive, restorative and new. And it's in the process that the newness is created. As we keep on living and keep on experiencing, Christ keeps on creating new ways of thinking, living, loving, forgiving and being forgiven into our lives. We’re always a work in progress.
What the cross shows us about God's creative power is that the worst thing that can possibly happen to a human being can happen, and it's not the end. “All the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.” (Col 1:20 MSG)
Not just between you and God. But you, your enemy, your neighbour, and God. All of it.
What are your thoughts about God's creativity? Leave us a comment below!
Go to Part 6 – Work of Art »
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