We spend too much time being ‘driven’ rather than being ‘drawn in.’
We focus on what we ‘should’ do rather than what we feel excited and compelled to do in our lives, in this world. During this worship series, we will connect with our inherent creativity and nurture this foundational aspect of being human, giving us renewed energy for passionate work, delightful play, and creative problem solving to make this world a better place for all.
January 20, 2019
Synopsis: All creation began with the dream of God, the will and intention for life to exist in the void. All of our actions are born out of desire, out of a dream and vision for the future. This is our birthright: to imagine and to create. What brings you alive? What truly moves your soul in the deepest way? What you create out of that answer is your greatest gift to the world and the way in which you are part of God’s unfolding and ongoing creative dream.
Scripture: John 2:1-11 (The Voice)
Narrator: Three days later, they all went to celebrate a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was invited 2 together with Him and His disciples. 3 While they were celebrating, the wine ran out; and Jesus’ mother hurried over to her son.
Mary: The host stands on the brink of embarrassment; there are many guests, and there is no more wine.
Jesus: 4 Dear woman, is it our problem they miscalculated when buying wine and inviting guests? My time has not arrived.
Narrator: 5 But she turned to the servants.
Mary: Do whatever my son tells you.
Narrator: 6 In that area were six massive stone water pots that could each hold 20 to 30 gallons.[a] They were typically used for Jewish purification rites. 7 Jesus’ instructions were clear:
Jesus: Fill each water pot with water until it’s ready to spill over the top; 8 then fill a cup, and deliver it to the headwaiter.
Narrator: They did exactly as they were instructed. 9 After tasting the water that had become wine, the headwaiter couldn’t figure out where such wine came from (even though the servants knew), and he called over the bridegroom in amazement.
Headwaiter: 10 This wine is delectable. Why would you save the most exquisite fruit of the vine? A host would generally serve the good wine first and, when his inebriated guests don’t notice or care, he would serve the inferior wine. You have held back the best for last.
Narrator: 11 Jesus performed this miracle, the first of His signs, in Cana of Galilee. They did not know how this happened; but when the disciples and the servants witnessed this miracle, their faith blossomed.
January 27, 2019
Synopsis: Hovering is the creative posture of taking a moment to see the ‘big picture.’ In a world of quick fixes and instant gratification, we can sometimes want to skip the step of paying attention to this question: “What one thing do we need to focus on now?” Clearing the decks in order to give ourselves space and time to think, to ruminate, to consider what is necessary, feels like a luxury but, in fact, both creativity experts and Jesus point to the importance of taking reflective time. The “project” of our lives and work in the world as Christians depends upon this as well. If you didn’t feel that you have to do or fix EVERYTHING, what ONE thing would you work on at this point in your life? What do you feel drawn to?
Scripture: Luke 4:13-21 (The Voice, inclusive)
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit, and soon people across the region had heard news of Him. 15 He would regularly go into their synagogues and teach. His teaching earned Him the respect and admiration of everyone who heard Him.
16 He eventually came to His hometown, Nazareth, and did there what He had done elsewhere in Galilee—entered the synagogue and stood up to read from the Hebrew Scriptures.
17 The synagogue attendant gave Him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, and Jesus unrolled it to the place where Isaiah had written these words:
18 The Spirit of the Lord the Eternal One is on Me.
Why? Because the Eternal designated Me
to be God’s representative to the poor, to preach good news to them.
The Eternal One sent Me to tell
those who are held captive that they can now be set free,
and to tell the blind that they can now see.
God sent Me to liberate those held down by oppression.
19 In short, the Spirit is upon Me to proclaim that now is the time;
this is the jubilee season of the Eternal One’s grace.
20 Jesus rolled up the scroll and returned it to the synagogue attendant. Then He sat down, as a teacher would do, and all in the synagogue focused their attention on Jesus, waiting for Him to speak. 21 He told them that these words from the Hebrew Scriptures were being fulfilled then and there, in their hearing.
February 3, 2019
Reconciling Ministries Sunday
Synopsis: God’s act of creating all that is, God’s act of entering our lives in the person of Jesus, God’s everyday act of creating new life—all these are acts of bringing that which is not into being—all acts of originality. To create is to assert ourselves in a way that is risky, that invites stepping into the unknown. Jesus regularly risked himself and called the disciples to join him in the risk as he called the world around him to experience God’s grace in a new way. Jesus’ acts of creativity and grace were a risky undertaking, but they opened the door to life abundant. What can you do to risk what God has given you to expand love and grace in the world?
Scripture: Luke 4:21-30 (The Voice)
21 He told them that these words from the Hebrew Scriptures were being fulfilled then and there, in their hearing.
22 At first everyone was deeply impressed with the gracious words that poured from Jesus’ lips. Everyone spoke well of Him and was amazed that He could say these things.
Everyone: Wait. This is only the son of Joseph, right?
Jesus: 23 You’re about to quote the old proverb to Me, “Doctor, heal yourself!” Then you’re going to ask Me to prove Myself to you by doing the same miracles I did in Capernaum. 24 But face the truth: hometowns always reject their homegrown prophets.
25 Think back to the prophet Elijah. There were many needy Jewish widows in his homeland, Israel, when a terrible famine persisted there for three and a half years. 26 Yet the only widow God sent Elijah to help was an outsider from Zarephath in Sidon.[g]
27 It was the same with the prophet Elisha. There were many Jewish lepers in his homeland, but the only one he healed—Naaman—was an outsider from Syria.[h]
28 The people in the synagogue became furious when He said these things. 29 They seized Jesus, took Him to the edge of town, and pushed Him right to the edge of the cliff on which the city was built. They would have pushed Him off and killed Him, 30 but He passed through the crowd and went on His way.
February 10, 2019
Synopsis: “Listening” as part of creativity is about perceiving. We open our senses to experience what is emerging. Perhaps what we start doesn’t end up looking like what we thought it would. Instead, once the act of creating begins, we listen to how the Spirit is guiding our next steps and unfolding possibilities we were previously unaware of. Without paying attention in this way, we act as if we have all the answers. And when we are up against something that doesn’t go our way, we see it as negative. But what if those moments are simply Co-Creator God inviting us to see new ways of moving forward in our lives?
Scripture: Luke 5:1-11 (The Voice)
On the banks of Gennesaret Lake, a huge crowd, Jesus in the center of it, presses in to hear His message from God. 2 Off to the side, fishermen are washing their nets, leaving their boats unattended on the shore.
3 Jesus gets into one of the boats and asks its owner, Simon, to push off and anchor a short distance from the beach. Jesus sits down and teaches the people standing on the beach.
4 After speaking for a while, Jesus speaks to Simon.
Jesus: Move out into deeper water, and drop your nets to see what you’ll catch.
Simon (perplexed): 5 Master, we’ve been fishing all night, and we haven’t caught even a minnow. But . . . all right, I’ll do it if You say so.
6 Simon then gets his fellow fishermen to help him let down their nets, and to their surprise, the water is bubbling with thrashing fish—a huge school. The strands of their nets start snapping under the weight of the catch, 7 so the crew shouts to the other boat to come out and give them a hand. They start scooping fish out of the nets and into their boats, and before long, their boats are so full of fish they almost sink!
8-10 Simon’s fishing partners, James and John (two of Zebedee’s sons), along with the rest of the fishermen, see this incredible haul of fish. They’re all stunned, especially Simon. He comes close to Jesus and kneels in front of His knees.
Simon: I can’t take this, Lord. I’m a sinful man. You shouldn’t be around the likes of me.
Jesus: Don’t be afraid, Simon. From now on, I’ll ask you to bring Me people instead of fish.
11 The fishermen haul their fish-heavy boats to land, and they leave everything to follow Jesus.
Week 5- Re-integrate
February 17, 2019
Synopsis: Everything that is created is in relationship with all other things. God’s vision for birds had to do with the quality of the creation of air. How a song is experienced by those who sing it will change the composer’s perception of the song or ever the song itself. Nothing exists in isolation. So too, for our relationships with others. What happens for humanity is closely related to how we respond to each other. Are we willing to re-integrate, re-vise, re-vision our lives as we come in contact with others who are not like us? New possibilities await if we are willing to offer ourselves fully and be willing to be changed by our interactions.
Scripture: Luke 6:17-26 (The Voice)
17 The whole crowd of disciples (including the 12 now designated as His emissaries) came down together, and they stood on a level area nearby. They were joined by an even greater crowd of people who had come from across the whole region—from all of Judea, from Jerusalem, from the coastal areas of Tyre and Sidon. 18 These people came to hear Jesus teach and to be healed by Jesus of their diseases. Those who were troubled by demonic spirits were liberated.
19 Everyone wanted to touch Jesus because when they did, power emanated from Him and they were healed. 20 He looked across the faces of His disciples.
Jesus: All you who are poor, you are blessed
for the kingdom of God belongs to you.
21 All you who are hungry now, you are blessed
for your hunger will be satisfied.
All you who weep now, you are blessed
for you shall laugh!
22 When people hate you,
when they exclude you
and insult you
and write you off as evil
on account of the Son of Man, you are blessed.
23 When these things happen, rejoice! Jump for joy!
Then you have a great reward in heaven
For at that moment, you are experiencing what the ancient prophets did when they were similarly treated by the ancestors of your detractors.
24 All you who are rich now, you are in danger
for you have received your comfort in full.
25 All you who are full now, you are in danger
for you shall be hungry.
All you who laugh now, you are in danger
for you shall grieve and cry.
26 And when everyone speaks well of you, you are in danger
for their ancestors spoke well of the false prophets too.
February 24, 2019
Synopsis: Something grossly overlooked in the creative process is the place of effortlessness and play. In the story of creation, God rested. And this was very “good” as well! Staying too focused on deadlines and how every moment can be “productive” robs us of an important feature of what it means to be humans made in the image of God: rhythm. Pushing through is non-sustainable, and creativity suffers if we constantly labor. Celebration is necessary along the journey. God’s creativity is ongoing, so while the story said God was “finished” and then rested, really it was simply a pause to reflect, to observe, and to celebrate, and then God continued God’s creative work among us and with us.
Scripture: Exodus 20:8-11 (The Voice, inclusive)
8 You and your family are to remember the Sabbath Day; set it apart, and keep it holy. 9 You have six days to do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is to be different; it is the Sabbath of the Eternal your God. Keep it holy by not doing any work—not you, your sons, your daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, or any outsiders living among you. 11 For the Eternal made the heavens above, the earth below, the seas, and all the creatures in them in six days. Then, on the seventh day, God rested. That is why God blessed the Sabbath Day and made it sacred.
Scripture: Luke 5:12-16 (The Voice)
12 Another time in a city nearby, a man covered with skin lesions comes along. As soon as he sees Jesus, he prostrates himself.
Leper: Lord, if You wish to, You can heal me of my disease.
13 Jesus reaches out His hand and touches the man, something no one would normally do for fear of being infected or of becoming ritually unclean.
Jesus: I want to heal you. Be cleansed!
Immediately the man is cured. 14 Jesus tells him firmly not to tell anyone about this.
Jesus: Go, show yourself to the priest, and do what Moses commanded by making an appropriate offering to celebrate your cleansing. This will prove to everyone what has happened.
15 Even though Jesus said not to talk about what happened, soon every conversation was consumed by these events. The crowds swelled even larger as people went to hear Jesus preach and to be healed of their many afflictions. 16 Jesus repeatedly left the crowds, though, stealing away into the wilderness to pray.