“Four days into ‘thin spaces’ and already changed—there’s so much significance to this, I really feel that…” and so began this text I received yesterday.
Hillsong Creative embarked upon a season of unbridled creativity from last December through February. We took 100 days as a community to steward, stir and stumble forward in varied creative disciplines. Some experienced a season to cultivate new skills. Others honed what laid dormant or refocused on areas of passion. We wrote songs, labored over scripts, stories, films, tracks, art works, ideas, choreography, photographs, design, sets, costumes, fashion and music. We propagated Instagram to inspire others with what was being created. And we hoped to refine our talents so God could increasingly use them for his glory.
(Sketch by Emily Averill)
It’s now summer 2016/17 here in Australia. Things wind down as the year halts, and we catch our breath for a moment, until we forge ahead into the new year. But this summer, we are on a new quest as a community, a quest for the “thin places.” The celts have a saying that there are three feet between heaven and earth. They describe a place where sometimes the veil between the tangibility of this life and the reality of the next almost meld. Thin Places are the places of God encounters. We often experience thin places in the beauty and solace of creation, at the edge of oceans or mountaintops, in contemplation of the heavens or at the dawning of a new day. There’s something in certain experiences that quiets our heart and quickens our attention. Thin places awaken us to the “otherness” of God.
Last Thursday night I encouraged our team to be seekers of that God-space, to become a people who actively look for Jesus, who desire intimacy and relationship enough to still ourselves. I encouraged our team to be people who will to wrestle with God like Jacob at Bethel, to push closer like the woman with the issue of blood. We must be people prepared to open the door that knocks with revelation, people of pursuit and encounter. Are we people who not only set aside time for 100 days of creative expression, but also who allow the Creator to create Christlikeness in us? We must be people who take our lives and create works of radical, transformational beauty.
Here is what we have committed to over the next 100 days:
– To read together one Psalm a day
– To seek out our own Thin Places where we still our hearts to incline to the Lord
– To create pieces of beauty that inspire awe and wonder
Then let us hashtag #thinplaces as we find places where others might wander in our footsteps towards God—it may be a place, a verse, a relationship or an opportunity for good.
We started Day 1 writing letters of encouragement to others in Australia— to the persecuted Church, to the refugee, to people in prison and to friends who should be reminded of how God loves them. Day 1 was a moment to pay it forward, an opportunity to stop, listen and respond. It was the start of what we hope beyond the next 100 days—more clarity, more creativity, more awareness of the nearness of Christ!
If you want to join us, feel free to download a screen saver which hopefully reminds you daily to let the light in to your life as you read to encounter God in thin places … then to create out of that place.