October 26, 2014
Twentienth Sunday after Pentecost
Art speaks to the senses in ways that are too complex and subtle to be able to fully define in words. We respond physically and emotionally to the colors, shapes, textures, rhythms, timbres, pitch, or other aspects of a painting, a song, a film in ways that are difficult to describe, but still very real.
Deborah Sokolove, Sanctifying Art
When the Sacred Conversations on Race and Diversity Planning Group organized our first joint worship service last year, we focused on a social justice issue that both of our faith communities found pressing and ripe for multiracial, multicultural social action—the myriad injustices surrounding our system and practice of mass incarceration. This year we decided that our communities shared something else in common, the creation and appreciation of art. So we thought we would lift the theme of creativity’s role in our spiritual journey.
The universe itself is the result of a creative cosmic force, the external manifestation of a Divine consciousness. For those of us who believe that we are expressions of that consciousness it is no wonder that we embody that same creative cosmic characteristic.
We are creating every waking second with our thoughts, whether, as Christine Valters Paintner says, “we are making art, or dreaming and discerning our futures, or creating loving relationships, or playing in our leisure time, or generating new ideas in the workplace, or building our visions for what is possible in our communities, and working toward justice.”(Paintner, Ph.D., Christine Valters, “The Relationship Between Spirituality and Artistic Expression: Cultivating the Capacity for Imagining,” Spirituality in Higher Education Newsletter, (UCLA, Vol. 3, Issue 2, January, 2007, p.3).
The creative process is probably second only to our instincts for survival, and even then, we employ it in our efforts to secure that survival. Making art, which is what we are focusing on this morning, is a special part of this larger creative process where we tap into that inner dimension beyond thought and free the imagination to play, explore, discover something new and touch the sacred.