Who are the Creator's creators?
by Tim & Vera Harrold
Transformation Thurrock branched out into the creative realm on Friday 3 February when Tim & Vera Harrold facilitated a session at the Walking In Sonship course in Romford.
Held at Harold Park Baptist Church, just off the A12, and led by Jane Almond (teacher at Emmanuel Christian School in Havering-atte-Bower and member of the Thames Gateway Prayernet), Art In The Creativity Of Heaven was part four of a 6-part series of evenings designed to help believers into a greater undertsanding of their heavenly identities and activate in areas of ministry.
Instead of worship with instuments, Tim began the workshop with a short meditation using a CD of endless waves rolling up on a beach. This helped to focus everyone upon God by 'walking' the 20 or so delegates deeper into feet-off-the-bottom faith (see Ezekiel 47:3-5).
Tim explained that it's not about the how to, but the why do. If we're created in the image of the Creator, then we're creators too! We're born to be creative creations! Therefore be imitators of God... (Ephesians 5:1 NKJV)
The first person in the Bible described as being filled with the Holy Spirit was an artist!
Then the Lord said to Moses,
‘See I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,
and I have filled him with the Spirit of God,
with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills –
to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze,
to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts.
Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him.
Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you:
the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law with the atonement cover on it,
and all the other furnishings of the tent – the table and its articles,
the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories,
the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand –
and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place.
They are to make them just as I commanded you.’
If this is a picture of the Old Testament tabernacle, then what does it say about the tabernacles and temples of the New Covenant?
Then, there's this picture:
Then I looked up—and there before me were four horns!
I asked the angel who was speaking to me, "What are these?"
He answered me, "These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem."
Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen.
I asked, "What are these coming to do?"
He answered, "These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise his head,
but the craftsmen have come to terrify them
and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people."
Why are the enemies of God terrified by these 'four craftsmen'? Because they are in the re-construction game! Just like Jesus is making everything new, he calls his people, his creatives (that's all of us!), to co-partner in that creative activity making everything new. Craftsmen bring everything together - the 'horns' destroy and scatter. The craftsmen of God are the realisers of heaven's imagination. For the enemy, "Art was created as an act of theft" (a quote from Derek Jarman's film Caravaggio) - those empty horns possess nothing of creativity except pale imitations.
Jesus didn't just rearrange the furntiure - he made the furntiure! And saw to it that it was good!
Respected theologian Walter Brueggemann said, "The dominant consciousness is the one that shrinks imagination because imagination is a danger."
Michele Shea said, "Creativity is... seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God."
Having explained all this, Tim & Vera did a PowerPoint presentation about their own art practices and how other creative sessions they'd done (at the 2015 and 2016 Newforms National Gatherings, for instance) had worked out.
Then they introduced the Prophetic Collage exercise.
This involves simply selecting pictures that appeal from magazines, cutting them out, then arranging and sticking them on a sheet of paper. The idea is to not think too much about the actual 'artiness' of it all, but to trust in the creativity the Creator has given you to lead you to images that reveal something prophetic about yourself. Of course, to do this, you need to trust that you have the mind of Christ.
Everyone did this for 15 minutes, and then were instructed to swap pictures with someone else who then has to use the collage to prophesy to the person who made it.
This proved so popular that people were asking more than one person, and the whole thing ran on and on! Consequently, they never got round to doing anything else through lack of time. (There were loads of materials ready and available for some 'freebase' art activities.)
If your church or group or group of churches would like a Creative session, or a whole day, or even a weekend (with talk included), please contact Tim & Vera on email@example.com
From a handy handout that Tim has put together...
The Creator’s Created Creative Creations’ Creativity quotes
The Christian is one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars. Francis Schaeffer
Never smother the mystical song that rests deep inside you. Andre Suarez to George Rouault
If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything will appear as it is, infinite. William Blake
It is possible to imagine that all impossible images exist in the field of all possibilities. Slogan on wall at Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal, Germany
Creativity has been built into every one of us: it is part of our design. Each of us lives less of the life God intended for us when we choose not to live out the creative gifts God gave us. J John
Beauty is an amenity. Theaster Gates
Culture can be a catalyst for social transformation in any city, anywhere. Theaster Gates
The best way to predict the future is to create the future. BMW advert
Make your imagination God's playground. Pete Carter
Art should be a form of play, rejoicing before the face of God. HR Rookmaaker
Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist. Rene Magritte
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. Maya Angelou
You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream. CS Lewis
Art likes to see which other worlds are possible, to see how it would feel if it were this way instead of that way. Brian Eno
Any good talent you have was a gift to you, but also to the world. Are you passing it along? Donald Miller
Live your life as if it were a work of art. Abraham Joshua Heschel (philosopher)
We begin with the possible, and move gradually towards the impossible. Robert Fripp
Is there a dream I once harboured that needs to be released from the dock and allowed to sail? John Richmond
The creator's world is not a menu; it is an infinite list of ingredients. Donald Miller
Do not dare not to dare. CS Lewis
Stop looking for inspiration and become one. Banksy
Did you know your imagination is at least 10 times bigger than you imagine it is? Moose Allain
You are not a mistake. God does not create accidents. He only creates destinies. Quoted by Student Revivals
I’m convinced most people have no idea how beautiful their stories are. Donald Miller
If you want a revolution, you have to start by telling an alternative story. Michael Mather
All great art comes from people who recognise that there is something higher than themselves. Alan Ayckbourn
Dream up the kind of world you want to live in. Dream out loud. Bono