High River United Church of High River, Alberta

Knowing God Through Artistic Expression

We know God through artistic expression. It may be in pondering and engaging the artistic expression of others. Or it may be as we dive into the form of creative expression that suits us best.   In paint, clay, photography, singing, dancing, drama, doodling, woodworking, building, baking, cooking, gardening, calligraphy, writing, sewing, knitting, quilting, playing an instrument, and (add your favourite creative pursuit), we can sink into the presence of God. This is not about performance or achieving a perfect end product. This is about letting artistic expression carry us into the arms of God.


How does this work? When we allow ourselves to get caught up in our favourite form of creative expression or to sink into the artistic expression offered by another person, we are brought closer to all the emotions going on inside of us. There are no good or bad emotions. All emotions come upon us for a reason. Our limbic system reacts instinctively with an emotion in response to the current situation. Our emotions are formed out of many different experiences, reactions and relationships, and are not something we choose or control. All emotions serve a purpose, alerting us to what is going on inside of us and how we are interacting with the world around. As we mature, we can learn to manage how we react to the emotion that has come upon us so we don’t hurt ourselves or others, but we can’t stop the emotion. We can’t prevent ourselves from feeling sad or alarmed or disappointed or frustrated or lonely. Telling ourselves or others, “You shouldn’t feel that way,” makes no sense, because feelings come upon us.


Emotions are a gift from God – and they are a path to God. When we can feel our emotions, and let ourselves sink into them – such as through creative expression, then we have opened a door to God’s presence.


What is your favourite creative pursuit? Can you let it take you into the arms of God?


With love and prayers,

Rev. Susan & Rev. David

High River United Church


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123 MacLeod Trail S.W. High River, Alberta.

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