Tuesday, January 5, 2021

DAY 38

Image by Bill Devlin

Twelfth Day of Christmas

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
(Psalm 25:4)

All human beings come from the ground, and humankind was created out of the dust. In the fullness of his knowledge the Lord distinguished them and appointed their different ways. Like clay in the hands of the potter.
(Sirach 33:10-11;13)


Be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating.
(Isaiah 65:18a)

Bless the creators, O God of creation,
who by their gifts make the world
a more joyful and beautiful realm.
Through their labors
they teach us to see more clearly
the truth around us.
In their inspiration
they call forth wonder and awe
in our own living.
In their hope and vision
they remind us
that life is holy.
Bless all who create in your image,
O God of creation.
Pour your Spirit upon them
that their hearts may sing
and their works be fulfilling.
- "Prayer for Artists" by Vienna Cobb Anderson
found on ruminatemagazine.com

O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
(Isaiah 64:8)

"In the Shadow of the Tent" by Helen McNicoll (1914)

For the past thirty-eight days, we have featured the work of Canadian artists, sometimes drawing attention to the work and sometimes just letting its presence speak for itself. We have also been listening and reflecting on the ways in which God’s creativity lives in the biblical story, in the specific events surrounding the birth of Jesus, and in our own lives. On this last day of Christmastide, we celebrate the ways in which artists stir in us a desire to show our joy, our passion and our love to the world. Although the words "artist" and "painter" do not appear in the bible, there are many other words that signify God's creative activity. On Day 1, we reflected on ’beraw’, the Hebrew word that means ‘to form, fashion or create’. Like the creativity of God, the verb is actually much much bigger than that. As the very first verb to appear in Scripture, it is not surprising that it also holds the meanings of ‘to polish, to plane, to pare down, to make smooth, to carve, to cut out’ and more. The word holds everything that God creating, and Creation itself, are capable of. God made humankind in God’s image and sent Jesus to us in human form. The creativity of Jesus lives in his healing, his storytelling, his vision of the realm of God here on earth and his unlimited capacity to show love and be love in the world. In John 1, we are told that Jesus as the Word was there always, even at the dawn of creation itself. God crowns / surrounds us with nature, which glorifies God in darkness and light and all imaginable colours. God therefore has gifted us all with endless possibilities for change, evolution, justice and peace, if we might use our imaginations and see them there. Artists help us to do that. We don't have to be great artists; creativity can live even in the average gestures of our day to day life. In the painting above by Helen McNicoll, two women artists are seen side by side. One is holding a painter’s box of brushes and the other is reviewing sketches. McNicoll painted her own friends who were also painters, sitting by the seaside in casual conversation. How can we insert ourselves into the awe-inspiring creativity of God? What are the creative gifts, however gentle or bold, which we might bring forward in 2021 and make shine to the world?

Image by Bill Devlin

LC† Longing for Renewal is a project of Lutherans Connect, supported by the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. Join us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and on Twitter. Lutherans Connect invites you to make a donation to the Ministry by going to this link on the website of the ELCIC Eastern Synod and selecting "Lutherans Connect Devotionals" under "Fund". Devotions are always freely offered, however your donations help to support extended offerings throughout the year.
Thank you and peace be with you!