Scripture Focus: 1 Chronicles 6:31-32
31 These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the Lord after the ark came to rest there. 32 They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, until Solomon built the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. They performed their duties according to the regulations laid down for them.

Reflection: A Place for Creatives
By Erin Newton

Chronicles creates a bookend to the Hebrew Bible. Forming the final words of God before Christ, the message is a reminder of what God has done and the promises he has kept to his people—his exiled, battered, traumatized, and faith-shaken people.

They had been the outsiders, the misfits, the foreigners. Even when it was time to “go home,” the place they returned to was nothing like what they had left.

Some people were hand-picked to lead the people out of exile and into a new life. Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel were just three people out of a multitude. We know a lot about them. The rest of God’s people seemed destined to be nameless and forgotten.

But God took the time to guide the Chronicler through a history of his people—name after name after name. God had not forgotten. Each name is the word of God saying, “I didn’t forget him” and “This one, she’s special to me.”

Among that list is a set of musicians, the creatives of the group. They were given the task of creating songs, performing music, and providing an avenue for worship to a people who did not have the same talents.  

I’m a member of a group of writers that come together to encourage and provide advice for one another. Most of the group are fiction writers. They take pen and paper and manage to turn ink into beauty. I have heard soul-stirring narratives, spirit-lifting comical scenes, and emotionally riveting memoirs. The gifts displayed in this small group are incredible, but each writer often gives a dismissive shrug, “I’m not a real writer.”

And so, the inner critic lies to us, as Ruth Buchanan would say. In a place where we find so much joy, we doubt our place, our importance, our worth.

Even more when we look at those gifts among God’s people. A few chosen people usually lead the church by preaching and teaching. Are the rest forgotten? This list of musicians would suggest not.

Artists are features of the church, not accessories. The creatives are highlighted as important among God’s people. We must recognize the gift of creativity and the talent offered to the body of Christ. The God who clothes the lilies and paints the sky has given a bit of himself in these people. Let us invite more beauty into our worship through the hands of the creatives.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
Splendor and honor and kingly power are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, and by your will they were created and have their being. — A Song to the Lamb

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
1 Chronicles 5-6  (Listen 12:53)
Psalms 81-82 (Listen 2:36)

Read more about The First Spirit-Filled Work
The first Spirit-filled individuals were artisans, builders, makers. Their skilled minds, hearts, and hands wrought God’s people a place to meet with God.

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