The Creative's Role in God's Invisible Kingdom
"What can we learn as creatives? We are called to bring the invisible, intangible qualities and attributes of the Kingdom into this visible world. We are called to purposefully create by the divine Spirit of God."
As creative people, we are invited to help usher in God’s invisible kingdom. This is sacred and meaningful work, but it is always happening at the intersection of perception and invisibility. In Luke 17, Jesus speaks to other religious teachers about what the Kingdom of God looks like. He mysteriously states that the Kingdom can’t be detected by visible signs. That people looking with ordinary eyes, won’t be able to say, “here it is,” or “it’s over there.”
And then Jesus states, “the Kingdom of God is already among you.”
God’s presence: invisible, yet embodied.
Jesus was talking about a Kingdom that can’t be seen, touched, or detected by visible signs. God was ushering in his invisible Kingdom by coming to rule in people's hearts.
By default, humans want something palpable, material, and concrete. We want to experience something real, something we can explain with our senses. Think about the Israelites - as soon as their physical connection to God, (in the person of Moses), disappeared on Sinai, their faith wavered, and they turned to a golden calf. They wanted a god they could see and touch. Their God-ordained purpose was misdirected, and the result was their making something that was beautiful, but lifeless.
What can we learn as creatives? We are called to bring the invisible, intangible qualities and attributes of the Kingdom into this visible world. We are called to purposefully create by the divine Spirit of God. We are called to bring the experience of The Garden (Genesis 2) to earth.
When Moses came down the mountain with instructions for the tabernacle, the altar, and the priestly garments, he was bringing not-yet-realized elements of God’s rule and reign into the community. It required the Israelites going to work. They redirected their skill, focus, and energy into creating something that would ultimately be filled with the living presence of God.
When we embody the attributes of God’s kingdom, our work—our acts of creating, even as simple as cooking—are infused with those qualities. Love. Joy. Peace. Heaven, on earth. (See A Theology of Making for more reflection on connections between our acts of creating and God's Kingdom).
Creatives render the invisible qualities of God in real space and time. As Kahlil Gibran states, “work is love made visible.” This makes all the difference when working in God’s kingdom. Our making is an outward expression of the internal work of God’s life-giving breath in us.
The physical manifestation of God’s Spirit in you, and his kingdom residing in you is not only a changed heart but a changed environment. Wherever you go, there, is the Kingdom. And whatever you create, there is an invisible quality to it that draws people deeper into God’s presence.
You have a part. Let that sink in. Everything you create in the Spirit of the One who gives purpose is another building block in His glorious work to bring his peace, wholeness, love, and light to this world. May it be so.
Words and Images: Evie Shaffer
Additional Images: Bryan Ye-Chung