HUMAN IMAGEBEARERS IN A GARDEN TEMPLE
Entering into the story…
There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine! – Abraham Kuyper
Read the passage linked below and imagine the scene as if you were a movie director working with the characters. Often, we do not enter scripture with our humanity intact and we do not dignify the characters we find there by giving them their humanity in return. The goal of Lectio Divina is to meditate on the scene we find there and allow the characters to speak to us by vividly imagining the scene as if we are standing there physically too. Ask Holy Spirit to make the scenario come to life as you read using all of your senses to visualise everything in the scene…
Psalm 139 – Worship in Creation
How do you view your humanity and God’s creation in light of this passage? Becoming a disciple is learning to rule and reign with God over all of life. What do you hear of David’s reverence for God? His nature and character expressed in His goodness and His presence over every part of David’s life. In the first few passages, David invites God’s investigation into every corner of his life. What does this reveal? Is this risky? How often have you heard of someone who invites investigation? Begs for it? A desire to be an open book? This speaks to a deep vulnerability and humility; to be known by God and make Himself known to God, who in turn longs to be known and made known to others. We travel the journey in two directions into deeper relationship, transparency and accountability. How does David long for feedback, for critique and for excellence? Notice how His frame of reference is not himself, or His environment but something above and beyond that superseding human experience, all the while including all that is human.
Our experience of God is to be found in our humanity, our experience of the whole of Creation. What imagery is David using? Notice the poetry, the prose and the exuberance in his words. David is a fanboy, he is in awe of God. He is drawn to the spiritual as he contemplates the Creator and all He has made. How does Creation speak of God’s power, His divine attributes, His nature and character and His presence with us? David sings, “You have shaped me inside and out, knit me together”. David is in equal measure a naturalist, a poet, a worshipper and an observer as much as he is an imagebearer. A creative one at that.
As you read the passage, how does Creation become the translator for God? Why does God use animals, creatures, physical things as myriad parables of His goodness, His kindness and His providence for us in every moment of everyday? No matter where we look we see the glory of God in what He has made. Creation is the first temple for His presence, made by the Word of God. We are His image, His high priests in the temple made to reflect Him in every part of our embodied spirituality. Take a moment to think of how God shows His love and goodness to you through the whole of Creation. Through your sense of taste, touch, smell, sound and sight. Through these five main human senses, we are created to perceive what as such we can’t see His godhead, His eternal power and His divine attributes! We are fearfully and wonderfully made!
1) Prepare: Close your eyes, breathe, focus your mind, and ask God to enter into this time of prayer with you. Ask God to speak to you through this video.
2) Lectio (read): Open your eyes and scan the image. Note what draws your interest, but continue to scan the whole image. Close and rest your eyes a minute.
3) Mediatio (meditate): Open your eyes and let your eyes be led. Focus on just the part of the image that caught your eyes and name it. Close your eyes, seeing that piece of the image in your mind.
4) Oratio (pray): Open your eyes and look again at the piece of the image that caught your eye. Allow it to bring forth a word, image, or emotion. Close and rest your eyes.
5) Contemplatio (contemplation): Open your eyes and gaze at the whole image. What is God speaking to you today through this image? How will you respond to Him? Spend time processing that with God. Pray or journal about it.
Embodied Spirituality in Practice
A DISCIPLINE OR PRACTICE TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR LIFE.
INSPIRATION AND PRACTICAL APPLICATION FROM A CREATIVE
DEVOTIONAL DISCOVERY OF SOMETHING IN NATURE
A leaf, an animal, ecosystem, water cycle or weather patterns, human body, micro or macro creation.
Research and learn as much as you can about your chosen creature. Find out something interesting and surprising that you didn’t know or haven’t seen or realized before. Do as much research as you can so that you can share the creature’s attributes comprehensively.
e.g. the relationship between the flower and the bee in the case of the bucket orchid.
Illustrate something from Creation that inspires you in your own creativity. Paint it, film it, draw it or write about it. Then upload it for us to share it!
e.g. pictures and description of the flower (bucket orchid), its parts and the relationship it has to its environment.
Identify an example of the character of God revealed within your chosen aspect of creation. Ask questions like; Why did God create it in this way? What is He communicating through it? What did He prioritize in the design? etc.
To aid you in your analysis, ask yourself, what is the creature’s Form, Function and Relationship?
Form = What does it look like, what colours, shapes, what parts does it have?
Function = What is the function of each part as well as the creature as a whole? How do the different parts make up the whole?
Relationship = What relationship does the creature have with it’s environment? What defense mechanisms? What role does it play? How does it reproduce? What do these different facets say about the nature and character of God?
How can this be applied to our lives practically, what can we take from the devotion/discovery that can change the way we perceive God? Or is there something here that can be relevant to how we live our lives or interact with our environment? Do you have any scripture that will tie in well with the devotion or aspects of the creature chosen?
This is a chance to express yourself creatively. Perhaps something in this part of the timeline has challenged, excited or inspired you. You may want to think about how you could express that through drawing, writing, painting, filming, designing or photographing something to share with others here at creativeimagebearers.com.
Optional: In addition to the assignment above, please write a haiku, poem, song or create a piece to express yourself and share it with us!
Final Take-Away to give context…
PROVOKE THOUGHTS, QUESTIONS…
e are constrained by Nature; everything God has created is finite: we are all faced with limitations that inspire great innovative creativity. We have to find ways to work within our constraints and overcome them. This leads to great creativity from the first scratchings on cave walls, which lead to icons, letters and language. We discover fire and how to harness it and use fuels to send imagebearers to the moon and the international space station.
e are compelled by Nature. We see birds fly and long to do the same. We refuse to let our limitations hold us back from harnessing the power of nature to fling ourselves into the unknown. We are inquisitive, adventurous and inspired by the playground of learning we find in the created order. God has given us everything we need and is waiting for us to discover it all through science, technology and endless learning. Still, we must design according to human proportions e.g. finger spacing on a keyboard is set by our human hand span etc. God is creative and we are in His image!
ow does Creation inspire you? Spend time in nature. Look at little bugs, study things under a microscope. What gives you life? Photograph landscapes, study stars, how the brain works, look everywhere for new creatures, new ideas and new inspiration for your own development of colour theory, design principles or usability. Nature is full of surprises we have yet to still discover.