Metanoia

Blog created by interior decorator Peggy Clarke to help create homes that reflect the people who live there and how they (want to) live. Blending spirituality with the art of interior design, Clarke aims to help people who want to create harmonious spaces for balanced living.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Art and the Divine

People often appear baffled when they hear that I have spent most of my life in the fields of ministry/theology and am now an interior decorator. They seem to think there’s a disconnect, that I changed paths mid-career which always seems funny to me. Is the connection between art and spirituality lost on so many?

This Sunday I’m preaching in Danbury, CT (
www.uudanbury.org) on incarnation. Incarnation is a theological subject (the notion of the Sacred, embodied) but is also, for me, an artistic reality. We and all we create are the embodiment of the divine. Some would say we are made in the image of God in that we create or that our creative spirit is the divine spark. I might go further by suggesting that which we call god (or sacred life or whatever word you use) is that which makes us alive, that we are, in reality, the incarnation, the embodied divine. On Sunday I’m going to pose the possibility that traditional theologies that recognize Jesus as the incarnation of God alone, have frozen or fixed incarnation like a butterfly on a collector’s board, trying to hold grace still. By limiting the idea to one person (Jesus) we have created a cult of one (Christianity) rather than a cult of all which would recognize that god is alive in all people and, ultimately, in all the natural world.

Of course Jesus was God embodied. And so was Siddhartha Gautama and Lao Tzu, and so is my nine year old nephew and so is the cashier at Stop and Shop. This sounds trite and possibly obvious, but let me say it clearly nonetheless. Incarnation didn’t happen once and for all time in the person of Jesus, but happens with every birth and can be seen each time we break ourselves open and pour ourselves out in service to each other.

Art, in all its forms, is the celebration and manifestation of this reality.

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