Saturday, 27 October 2018

Restoring All Things.

Speaking to an artist recently, he described how a painting took shape.   He starts off with an idea in his head but he is never quite sure how it will work out in the end.  He said: ‘I like the painting to speak to me.’  There is a sense in which the painting itself guides him.

It’s not unusual to find artists and writers describing their work in this way.  I once heard a poet say he never finishes a poem without a sense that in some way it has been given to him.  Paul McCartney promoting his latest album said he will never tire of writing songs because of the thrill of seeing something being produced out of nothing. 

None of this should really surprise us.  There is something about the creative process that is beyond our understanding.  But when you believe in a God who created the Universe out of nothing and who has created humankind in His own image, then to engage in any kind of creative activity  is to be touched by His being.  That is why there is so much satisfaction in building, painting, gardening, writing, knitting, decorating.  All of  this draws us into the Source of all creation. 

I suppose, however, that God’s biggest current project is re-creation.  Erik Varden, a Cistercian monk writes: ‘From being a garden of peace and sweet encounter, the world became a laboratory of selfishness, violence and warfare.’   But God has not turned His back on His ruined creation.  He is working towards the day when we will be returned to the garden.  Through His death and resurrection Jesus has made it possible for us as a renewed people to take our place in a renewed creation. He has emerged from the laboratory of selfishness, violence and warfare as the Risen Lord showing in Himself what God has in store for us when this ‘old and weary earth’ gives way to the new heaven and the new earth. 

The season of Remembrance brings to mind the worst of times for so many people but along with this we hold the faith that Jesus is building the best of times for us all.