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Creations of the Creator

Will Penner

“In the beginning was the Word,” according to John 1 (KJV), and “all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” This double entendre of the term Word is definitely intentional by the writer of this gospel. Prophets had proclaimed the word of God for generations, and scripture has been called the Word of God. But this Word to which John refers is something altogether different.

John is referring to Jesus. It is his poetic way of proclaiming that the Christ revealed in his gospel is the living embodiment of all of those prophetic utterances through the years—the Truth which all of the words of the scriptures were trying to articulate. This Jesus not only was a great healer, teacher, and leader, but also was divine in nature. John beautifully demonstrates that Jesus is the Author of all that was, is, and is to come—writing the text of creation.

teen smell dogwood FTR TSP 480492329Any time we truly pay attention to creation, we may be awed by the imaginativeness and ingenuity of the Creator—but we may also recognize the impetus within us to do similar work. Genesis 1 records that God spoke creation into existence from a formless void, creating order out of chaos, being out of nothingness. God’s articulation took form and was called good—now, that’s some serious poetic activity.

Genesis 2 records God creating humanity out of God’s divine reflection. As image-bearers of the Creator of the universe, we have within us some of that same creative energy—including the power of the spoken word. We know intuitively the power our words have to build up or tear down other people, but they can do far more than that.

swaying to the music FTR TSP 8S7537683Through our poetic creations we can inspire, instruct, critique, motivate, and emotionally connect with an audience in ways that we might never imagine. Song lyrics sink so far in the psyche that we can’t stop thinking about them even when we want to. Think of the last song that was stuck in your head and you couldn’t make it go away. (If you can’t think of anything immediately, try singing “Amazing Grace” to the tune of the Gilligan’s Island theme song. You’ll find yourself humming it late into the night tonight. You’re welcome!)

Advertising jingles bring brand names to mind that cause us to spend money on particular products. People who spend money to study such things say that next to making a person laugh, connecting with music is the most important component in a TV commercial; I suspect it’s significantly higher in radio ads. Certain memes span the globe in a matter of hours or even minutes because they resonate with so many other people—and many of them are only moderately clever.

Imagine what could be done with your poetic gifts if you devoted your creative efforts completely to God’s glory. If you chose to pen letters of inspiration to others, chose to post encouraging tweets, and chose to craft memes that built up the Body of Christ, in what ways could you be a co-participant in the continuing creation being undertaken by the Creator?

 

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Instead of automatically dismissing the creative drive to write or speak poetically as something you’re not good at, consider launching a little campaign against negative self-talk as your first poetry project. If you were trying to convince someone else of his or her innate poetic gifts, how might you approach him or her? What could you cleverly say in a Twitter post, Facebook update, Instagram caption, or Snapchat meme that might make that person reconsider trying out those poetic gifts?

 

 

Will Penner is a husband, father, teacher, youth worker, author, and speaker in Fairview, Tennessee—and he finds great pleasure and gratitude in crafting the occasionally truly well-written turn of phrase.

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