Creating a Gift

Participation in Creation is a gift.

I just got home from a great experience – a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony by the Colorado University Orchestra and Combined Choirs at Boettcher Concert Hall. It was a wonderful performance with a 90 piece orchestra and a 150 voice choir who all showed outstanding talent and musicianship. Beethoven clearly was given a remarkable gift of creativity by God – a gift that was transparent even to those of us in the audience who contributed little to the effort.

What really struck me tonight is how rare an experience it is in our society for people to participate in the creation of something beautiful together. Even though Beethoven wrote this remarkable music – a symphony I have listened to countless times on recordings – the creative act was not completed by him. Tonight it took nearly 250 people working in harmony together to really make that creation come alive in the moment. And there is something different in the experience of a live concert – whatever your musical tastes may be. There is an immediacy that makes both musicians and the listeners feel “fully human,                                                                                  fully alive” – living fully in the moment.

Friedrich Schiller, the writer of the “Ode to Joy” that is the center of the final movement of the symphony, said “it is through beauty that we arrive at freedom”. Is that not true for you as well? Whether you experience beauty through a painting, a symphony, a special moment with someone you love, or a sunset, when you have such an experience, you are participating fully in the moment and are free from the day to day concerns of life. You are participating in some way in creation, which is the most fundamental gift of God, and In fact, is a central aspect of who God is.

My challenge is to pull myself away from the busyness of every day and to look for opportunities to experience that beauty which is both the creation itself and the result of creation. The 250 young people who participated in the concert tonight had a rare, intense experience of creating something beautiful together – something rich and full. I hope that they will not soon forget it, and will continue to look for other opportunities to create beauty together. And I pray that I will remember it too, and remember to keep my eyes open to and looking for the beauty of creation in all of its forms, so that I may experience again what God intended for us as his creation.

Loving God, thank you for allowing us to participate in your gift of creativity in many ways. Help us to always be alert to opportunities to recognize the beauty around us and to experience the freedom you intend for us. “For freedom, Christ has set us free!” (Galatians 5:1)

Dave Erickson Pearson

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