Week of: November 25, 2018
Scripture: John 18:33-37
Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world."
(John 18:36a, NRSV)
With the exception of mystics, artists more than many other individuals understand the otherworldliness of God’s kingdom. As worship artists we receive inspiration, not from our own effort, but as a mysterious gift seemingly from out of nowhere. The word "inspire" comes from the Latin word, "inspirare," meaning to breathe or blow into. As God breathed life into the first humans in Genesis, so too the Spirit breathes inspiration into us, making our creativity feel ethereal and beyond our control. Creativity, like God’s kingdom, is not from this world, but our world is infused with both.
The otherworldliness of God's kingdom proved a stumbling block for Pilate, making it difficult for him to believe Jesus was the ruler of God's chosen people. How might the ethereal nature of creativity be a stumbling block for you? What do you do when inspiration does not arrive?
What do you do to open yourselves to the Spirit's inspiration?
As we celebrate the one who reigns over God's Kingdom, the issue for us as worship artists is whether we allow Christ to reign over our creativity. I endeavor to allow Christ to reign in my creativity through the spiritual practice of listening before and while I am creating. I use a visual form of "lectio divina." What practices do you employ to allow Christ to guide your creativity as you create for worship?
O Christ, be the inspiration for our creative gifts and reign in our lives now and forever. Amen.
Retired Elder, Virginia Conference of The UMC
Affiliate Faculty, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Photo: The chancel area is dimmed prior to an evening worship service at Awaken 2017 in Little Rock. The visual artist for this event was Rev. Dr. Kincannon, our Reflection author this week. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)