Collaborative Creativity

07.16.20 | Pastoral Care | by Eric Mullinax

Collaborative Creativity

    "...initial words of Scripture boldly proclaim we are not lost and wandering in a cosmic circle of time and chance, isolated from any meaning. There is One Who stood at the foundation of the world, Who with wisdom, majesty, power, and purpose, caused life and His-story to unfold."

    A most comforting premise of the Christian worldview is the assurance of a beginning. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” (Genesis 1.1) These initial words of Scripture boldly proclaim we are not lost and wandering in a cosmic circle of time and chance, isolated from any meaning. There is One Who stood at the foundation of the world, Who with wisdom, majesty, power, and purpose, caused life and His-story to unfold.

    For the Christian, this comforting premise is deepened by the image of creation as the cooperative work of a relational, Trinitarian God. The account of creation in the Gospel of John runs parallel to the creation accounts of the book of Genesis, except that John makes it clear the Father was not acting alone. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1.1-4) Paul similarly describes the Son’s involvement in creation, referring to Jesus Christ as “...the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1.15-17)

    The New Testament writers unapologetically affirm the Old Testament understanding of our total dependence upon the Maker of heaven and earth. However, they add to this affirmation the admission that all creation—from the beginning until now—is further seen through the light of Jesus Christ. Christ is the Word of God, existing with God at the beginning. He is the One Who called forth the heavens, the One Who holds all things together, the One Who sustains the universe by his word, even now. Like the Son, the Spirit is affirmed in Scripture as present at the beginning and sustaining of all creation: “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.” (Psalm 33.6) Scripture clearly illumines the relational work of God from the very beginning, declaring that creation is the collaborative work of a divine relationship.

    In this image of the fullness of life in the Trinity, creation advances, not from any lack or need in God, but freely from God’s abundance. It is for this reason that creation is affirmed as good throughout Scripture. For the work of creation comes at the hands of a good, imaginative, and relational Creator. After each command in Genesis 1 that beauty and order come forth out of nothing, God declares that it is good—indeed, that creation in this way bears the image of its Creator. Augustine posited that there is a trace of the Trinity in everything. The outpouring of Trinitarian abundance into the work of all created things shows God’s covenantal relationship with all creation. From the very beginning, the Father, Son, and Spirit have bound themselves to their world. The One God, in Three persons, has voluntarily and purposely created the world out of this loving abundance of the Trinity. Leaving this mark and making humanity in His image, God shows the covenantal relationship a loving Creator not only intended for the world but continues to work to restore.

    This is indeed a comforting premise. The goodness of God can be seen in the daily activities of an immense and amazing world. Into this good picture of God’s creation, we are called to co-operatively participate, to “taste and see that the Lord is good,” to glorify God as Maker of heaven and earth, and join in the fellowship of a creative Trinity. Today and from the beginning, we are neither alone nor without purpose. We were made, and we are being remade by the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, the Maker of heaven and earth.

    ~ Pastor Mullinax

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