Today we celebrate the Arts and Craft Community who grace our church every Monday morning. We are so thrilled that many of them can join us this morning. We want to celebrate all the creativity they exhibit and to honour the amazing work they do supporting each other and building up our local community. It is also Trinity Sunday where we celebrate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – in community with each other.
Ultimately, God is the Creator:
Our readings today are from The Book of Job 38: 1-16; 22-27 and 31-38
In our reading today Job loses everything – his family, his home, his possessions and his health in this book from the Old Testament.
The Book of Job is reputedly the oldest book of the Bible written up to 4000 years ago – yet it deals with the age old question so many people still ask. ‘God – why me?’
As the chapters of this story advance and Job seems to sink lower in his misery, his so-called friends want to not only give him advice but to counsel him on the possible reasons for his misery – i.e. they clearly believe that he has upset God.
Finally in the next part, God replies and basically says ‘What makes you think you know all the reasons, or know more than God as to why things happen?’
Sometimes it should be sufficient to be reminded that he is in charge and that he has crafted and painted and planned the wonders we see and we may not know all the whys and wherefores but we should just trust him and see his nature through his creations. [how often do we question a nuclear physicist or a potter about his art]
Now, I’m not particularly creative or artistic. Sometimes I look at art and I can’t see what all the fuss is about.
For instance, why would someone pay $227 million for this painting at auction last month.
Also when I look at craft work, I don’t think immediately of its beauty, texture, colour or complexity – my initial thoughts usually revolve around something like – ‘But is it useful?’
That’s the thing – sometimes I am limited by my own understanding, my perspective and seeing things from where I am – and so it is with Job.
In this book Job sees his life more from the perspective of a the back panel of a tapestry – something like this….
If we focus on the big picture around us instead of the small, knotty bits that make up our angers, sorrows, loss and hurt, we too can gain the perspective of the Creator and his handiwork – as we see in our reading.
Why does God make all this effort for us in the first place – because of his love and passion for us.
It is that love and effort I see, as well as beauty when I look at this rug my Grandmother gave to me some 50 years ago.
Like God’s legacy to all of us she left this as a legacy for me – crafted with her effort, wrapped up in love.
See, the creation of Art and Craft is not just a thing we do for ourselves but for each other. When I look around this room and I see the craftsmen and women, I see teachers and administrators and assistants – people like Rob, Daphne, Gail and Ina [who I recently discovered comes in at 6.45 am every Monday morning for the last 18 years to serve others].
I see the Spirit at work creating new visions as well as creating community.
At the very end of the Bible – in a book called Revelation – there is a wonderful passage, often read at funerals, which reminds us of Jesus’ promise of eternal life. It says,
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
The work of Arts and Crafts helps bring that new vibrant community of folks into a new realm every Monday.
We are doubly blessed to give thanks to the Creator God who imbues us with a creative Spirit and a creative supporting community. Amen
Thank you Lord for giving us beauty and truth and love and community.
May your spirit reside in this place and with this community as they explore what it is to paint your example into their lives.