Arts & Worship: Dynamic Expressions (#2)

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November 19, 2012
Brandi Friesen Thorpe |

worship is about honest expression
Part of having a dynamic faith involves a cultivating a habit of looking for God in every place. It means looking for God in how we worship in our churches, how we worship God in our prayers, and how we worship God in our hearts when no one else can hear us.

Personally, it means I am willing to ask questions about what worship can be, and what it has not been. It also means that I am willing to question the limitations that church has when it presents me with so few permittable options of in-church worship. God being the ultimate creative standard, this lack of dynamic worship options concerns me.

I believe that God is an infinately creative God. In fact, the Bible tells us that He is the Creator, and that the expanses of God are limitless. This means that God’s creativity never ends. This in itself is amazing. The Bible also tells us that humans are created in the image Creator, and that God found it good. In sumation, that means that how we create, is a reflection of God, and it is good.

Does that not also mean our worship should look like gifts that God gave us? If we are true to our Christ-based identities, it means that how we worship and love our Creator, our All Mighty God, is based on how HE made us. Maybe that means playing piano on a Sunday morning. Maybe it means getting knees muddy as a garden is tended. Perhaps it is the smudge of paint left on a cheek as a masterpeice is being created on canvas. Perhaps the results of worship can be sore feet after dancing, elegant or otherwise.

Perhaps, I would like to suggest, that worship is about honest expression and results of such experssions. When that honest expression honours and glorifies God, God finds it good. If God finds it good, cannot the church find a place to celebrate this, and encorporate it into worship as well?

If we are capable at expression that God finds pleasing, and the corporate church finds no way to place value on it, I would point this is the direction of failure. I would also say it is a failure of the church to not find language to encourage the expressions of worship that the church cannot, or will not, facilitate. While it may be difficult to garden or paint as a congregation, we can learn language to appreciate it, or learn ways to use these gifts in our services.

However, I am not interested in pointing fingers at the church for the ways they have failed. I am interested in encouraging the church to grow and become more, as I believe the church can do.

Perhaps the church needs to take more of an interest in arts, and facilitate art classes.Perhaps the church needs to let artists into space of worship, to take turns at leading worship services. Perhaps what artists and others in the church need is a platform of opportunity. Can you imagine the church as a place where all people of all gifts have a opportunity to share their honest experssions of worship? I think it could be something beautiful, beyond the beautiful we can imagine.

Every person in a church needs to be able to express worship from the heart, and the church needs to strive to ensure that the congregation has the freedom to do this. God gave us dynamic gifts and freedom with purpose. Let’s try and steward those things well in worship, and let the church become more like the beautiful vision Christ has for it.

'Arts & Worship' is a monthly blogpost published in the third week of every month. Email brandi.j.thorpe@gmail.com for suggestions and comments on upcoming posts.

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