You know, the first thing we hear about God in the bible, in fact the first word mentioned in connection with Him, is this Hebrew term bara. 'In the beginning God created...'
It’s like the act of creating is an add-on to the name of God in that verse, a surname almost. Which makes me think creativity is a big deal to Him, a major part of who He is.
Which gets one to wondering – why?
We know when we create we do it for a purpose. The light bulb, the telephone, a house, a baby seat – every man-made item has a function.
And so since man is made in the likeness of God it makes sense to think every God-made thing has a function too.
Which is cool, because that means God is purposeful. He plans. He’s thought things through. Which also means He has a plan for you, and me, and your neighbour, and every stranger you pass on the street. We’re not all here by accident, we’re here for a purpose.
It’s a pretty sobering and exciting thought.
Still, I think there’s more to it than this. I think God’s creativity has a meaning that goes beyond function and purpose.
In fact, the more I think about it – about God creating His creation and about the things we create – the more I find myself pondering things to do with relationship and communication.
To create is to relate; to convey something from one person to another. Whether through architecture, sculpting, painting, poetry, writing, film, dance or whatever else, all these disciplines are ensconced in the notion of communing something deep within one person in the hope of it resonating in another.
No wonder the Hebrew word for create is bara. It’s the root word for barak; which means ‘to bless’ or ‘to speak well of something or someone’.
In other words, to create is to speak. In fact God created by speaking. To speak is to communicate. And to communicate is to relate, to move from ‘I’ to ‘we’.
Creativity then, is an expression of community. It’s the impulse to share something of what’s inside you with others.
Whether it’s the parent who creates new recipes or games for their family.
Or the artist who creates new works at their easel.
Or the business person with a new and innovative idea.
When you bring something from out of your own imagination you express something that is unique to you and in a way that no one else can.
The cool thing is this reflects the nature of our Father, the one who made us, the one who made you.
And so it’s no wonder the bible says we are to ‘sing unto the Lord a new song.’
Because when we create new ways of doing things, we emulate and please Him, because at its root, creativity is worship.
So, let everything that has breath praise the Lord.