seeing God as an artist
‘Once we see God as an artist, everything changes’ (John O’Donohue). For God’s work is like an artist, shaping life’s raw materials into new forms of beauty, truth and justice, through love. Sometimes we think of God too much as a law-giver or police officer, a mechanic or an engineer. All those occupations can also speak of God. Yet they can distance us from God’s intimate, costly and creative involvement with us, and from the invitation to share that love in similar ways with others. Art can thus reopen our eyes and ears and touch our souls and world afresh.
At St Luke’s Toowoomba, we see the community we call ‘church’ as a kind of ‘art-school of divine majesty’. Our building itself is indeed an artistic expression of God’s love. Recently we therefore installed art hanging rails better to share God’s love and creativity through art in the city’s heart. Beginning in Holy Week, and linked to the Streets and Lanes Festival on the Saturday before Easter, we have our first exhibition, with local artists reflecting visually on the Easter story. We hope it will inspire others to see God’s art among us and to grow as artists of God’s grace.
The other evening I had the pleasure of being part of this year's inter-denominational service of commissioning of Religious Instruction (RI) teachers for Toowoomba. It was a typically up-beat and prayerful occasion, with fine inputs from local school principals and Stephen Urmston, the new Anglican Children & Family worker at St Barts Toowoomba. I was moved again by the genuine care and loving commitment of those involved in offering RI to children in our local state schools and do believe that, in some ways, they enhance both the spiritual and wider relational life of the children and adults they share and meet with. However...
Jo Inkpin is an Anglican priest serving as Minister of Pitt St Uniting Church in Sydney, a trans woman, theologian & justice activist. These are some of my reflections on life, spirit, and the search for peace, justice & sustainable creation.