When you hear a church talk about an upcoming night of worship or even a time of worship prior to service, do you immediately think of singing? Can worship be something besides a time of praise through singing? And what if you don’t find collective singing a worship experience, or if you’re just looking for another way to express praise, are there other ways to worship God? Let’s explore this together.
God as Creator
Imagine for a second watching a painter who is completely in his element, starting from a completely blank canvas and adding stroke after stroke as he brings to life what’s on his heart. Then, as he finishes, he turns his work to you and smiles in approval as he says, “This is exactly how I wanted it to look.” The opening chapters of Genesis is a little like that. It shares with us the story of God’s love and creativity overflowing as he speaks creation into existence. In the beginning, God created all that we see from a completely blank canvas and it was very good. Hillsong United puts this beautiful act of creation to music in the song, So Will I. Here are the opening lines of the song:
There at the start
Before the beginning of time
With no point of reference
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light
A hundred billion galaxies are born
In the vapor of Your breath the planets form
If the stars were made to worship so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made
Every burning star
A signal fire of grace
Created in God’s Image
There’s something interesting about that creation story at the beginning of Genesis. God adds one thing after another to the masterpiece that he’s creating and he pays special attention to the last detail he adds. Genesis 1:26 reads, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.'” Being the climax of God’s masterpiece, we are a unique part of the creation account. God, who just showed himself to be all-powerful and incredibly creative, concludes his enormous work of art by creating us in his image.
We’re Made to Create
Music is normally the first thing that comes to mind when we think about worship, but any act of creativity and artistry should provide an opportunity to worship God. We are hardwired to be creative in all sorts of ways. Well-respected New Testament Scholar Richard B. Hays says it this way, “If we are made in the image of such an inventive God, it follows as day the night that we too will be makers of shapes, symbols, songs and stories. As bearers of the image, we can do no other.” (Faith & Leadership).
Whether playing instruments, singing hymns, painting, writing books or poems, or any number of other creative expressions, know that God has designed us to be people who worship him in a variety of ways. Consider the creativity that went into the ark of the covenant (Ex. 25:10-16) or the construction of the temple (2 Chron. 3:7). This is exactly why CCC seeks to provide our family with opportunities to worship together through art, like with our wildly creative group that meets regularly for Door #2.
Try Worshiping Through Art This Fall
Come to see what it’s like to worship through art at the Door #2 Open Studio, which starting Sep. 20 will be open every Thursday 3-7 p.m. at The Block (5374 Darrow Rd., Hudson). We provide a free space to work in plus free supplies to work with! You just show up and enjoy a completely unstructured studio time with every kind of material, from paint to clay. All high school and college students are welcome every Thursday, and on the first Thursday of every month, we’re inviting adults to join us too!
Want to dig deeper? Read more on art as worship:
- The Role of Art in the Church; Beauty, Evangelism, Worship (Christian Headlines)
- Theology and the arts: why it’s important for Christians to understand and create art
- The Art of Worship (Desiring God)
- Recognizing Art as Worship (Christianity Today)