Chapel Reflections: Created for Creativity

In the opening pages of scripture our first encounter with God in His scared writ is that of creator. And so the story goes in Genesis chapter 1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth… And God said ‘Let there be light!’ and there was light… And God said ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters… And God said ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation… And God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created them.” For six days God created and on the seventh He rested. Fin, end of story, right? Not too quickly.

 

See, I think God rested because He knew exactly what was to come, for He was not even relatively close to being done with the process of creation. God’s six days of creation were simply an inauguration for the whirlwind of creativity that was to come from the hands of His image bearers. Indeed, as image bearers of the great I AM we were created for creativity.

 

The image bearing musician creates with his instrument as part of a symphony, the image bearing pastor creates with her words at the pulpit, the image bearing artist creates with his hands in the studio, and the God of these image bearing creators has created a new creation with the death and resurrection of His son. The creation simply refuses to stop.

And so as people who bear the imago Dei (image of God) we continue to create not only with our talents and skills but with our love, our sense of justice, our prayers, our courage, and with our hearts aching desire to continue in the grand story of God’s very good creation.

N.T. Wright put it best when he said, “What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God's future.”

When we create we are building for God’s kingdom here on earth. Our poems, our songs, our sculptures, our paintings, our stories, they will all last in God’s good world and they will all be of incredible worth. So as we behold the imago Dei may we continue to create—after all, its what we were created to do. 

-Ricardo Huerta

Chapel Reflections: Am I Therefore

I am there

But what am I there for?

Called to be a loving neighbor

I am a Redwood tree, roots rooted deep

Intertwined with my brothers and sisters

Branches outstretched, waiting for a mission

Born out of a Holy Trinity, longing for community

Tethered and tied to the stories around me

 

My faith is not in need of gentle nudges

But a shove or two or seven in the right direction

A boost of boldness in the midst of my shame

Knowing that my name is not defined by my mistakes

It is written in the love a Savior that left His throne and became man

Doing all He can to take my pain away

Something I’ll never repay

 

But He doesn’t want my pocket change

He takes my scraped up knees and cups my face

and calls me His Beloved

Stepping into the chaos and writing alleluias in the sand

I’ll never understand how He could love a wretch like me

 

All I know is that my life is a series of before and afters

Of hurt and laughter

Falling into trouble and falling into prayer and falling into joy

I am by no means a finished product

In fact, I think I’ll always be in the workshop

I’m being sanded down and repainted by loving hands

Carved out from the wood of an imperfect cross

That held my perfect Savior

 

-Haley Scheaff

Chapel Reflections: A Grateful Response

As we’re getting back into the swing of things at North Park, the word “shift” seems more and more applicable. We’re shifting from summer to a whole new school year., shifting from home to campus, shifting from vacation to a long list of assignments. Our testimonies and stories can also contain radical shifts, filled with phrases like “I once was _______ but now am ________.” Whether our stories are radical or seemingly ordinary, I believe something unique happens when we encounter Jesus. We become a before-and-after people; a people of cause and effect, a people who have lives filled with therefores.

 

As followers of Jesus Christ, therefore is a word that should take root in our hearts. We realize that Christ already sees the very sin we are trying to hide; therefore we are able to take a look at it with Him and turn toward a new life. We are covered by His amazing grace; therefore we begin to live our lives as a grateful response. 

 

As we heard in chapel today, therefores and transformations should never be forced or coerced, nor do therefores  stem from encountering doctrine or church people.  Complete transformation only comes when we encounter Jesus and are compelled to shift our lives so that we are living in a way that glorifies Him.

 

Therefores  are also not overnight sensations and you will never be done shifting and growing and changing. Therefores will keep coming as long as you hang out with Jesus because you will continue to find new ways to respond to His love and grace. Are you ready to live out your Therefores? Are you ready to live your life as a grateful response? Are you ready to ask Him, “Therefore, what am I there for?”

 

-Reflection written by Haley Scheaff