Look At What I've Made!
God’s creations and ours
by Helen Redfern (revised, originally published in 2008)
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To value creativity in ourselves and others, and in the One who created us.
Preparation and materials
You will need a fresh flower and something that you have made at some stage in your life.
Optional: you might also like to download pictures of some of the items mentioned in Point 1 below, such as images of The Simpsons, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, St Paul’s Cathedral and so on.
Ask the students if they know who created the following works. (Answers are given in brackets.)
- The Simpsons (Matt Groening)
- The painting called Sunflowers (Vincent Van Gogh)
- The Angel of the North (Sir Antony Gormley)
- St Paul’s Cathedral (Sir Christopher Wren)
- The songs ‘Patience’, ‘Shine’ and ‘Rule the world’ (Take That) - or you might like to choose a different band or musician!
- Macbeth (William Shakespeare)
- The formula E = mc2 (Albert Einstein)
- The miniskirt (Mary Quant)
- A beautiful flower. (Show your real flower and see what responses you get.)
- This object. (Produce something you have made and see if anyone can guess that you made it!)
Show the students the object you made and tell them about it. For example, how old were you when you made it? Why did you make it? Who was it for? How did you feel when you had finished it?
Point out that we have all made things. Maybe not masterpieces like Van Gogh and Shakespeare, but we have all made things that we are proud of. We are all creative in our own way.
Listen to this passage by writer Rob Bell. It is about an object that he made when he was a child:
When I was five, my family visited my grandparents in California during Christmas vacation. They lived in an apartment building with an alley beside it – very exciting for a boy who lived on a farm in Michigan. At some point in my exploration of the alley, I decided to make a Christmas present for my dad out of the things I had found there. So on the morning of the twenty-fifth, my father had the privilege of opening a gift of a piece of black and green drainpipe glued to a flat gray rock with little white stones resting on the inside of it.
A masterpiece, to say the least.
The reason I remember this is because I visited my dad at his office a few days ago, and while I waited for him to finish his meeting, I wandered around looking at the pictures on his walls and the papers on his desk and the things on his shelves. On one of his shelves sat the drainpipe and rock sculpture, thirty years later.
He still has it.
He brought it home with him and put it in his office in 1977 and hasn’t gotten rid of it.
We know why he kept it. How you treat the creation reflects how you feel about the creator.
(From Sex God by Rob Bell, Zondervan 2007, pp. 27–8, used by permission of Zondervan)
Think about the statement, ‘How you treat the creation reflects how you feel about the creator.’
Have you ever been given a picture by a younger brother or sister, screwed it up into a ball and thrown it in the bin?
Have you ever tried really hard to paint a good picture and been told, ‘Stick to the day job’?
How other people treat what we have made has an effect on us. What others say about what we have made matters to us. In the same way, how we treat what others have made and what we say about those things matters to other people.
Time for reflection
Hold up the flower and ask the following questions.
- Who made this beautiful flower?
- Who made the stars and rivers and trees?
- Who made the Earth and everything in it?
Many people believe that God created the world and all that lives in it. The creation is amazing! None of us could ever come close to creating what God has created, but we can all use our creative gifts in some way.
Let's spend a moment thinking about the beautiful things in the world around us.
Let’s remember that how we treat the creation reflects how we feel about the creator.
Let’s think about . . .
. . . the destruction of the rain forests . . .
. . . pollution of the seas . . .
. . . extinction of hunted animal species . . .
. . . broken glass in parks . . .
. . . rubbish littering the streets . . .
. . . graffiti on walls . . .
. . . refusing to help those who need it . . .
. . . laughing at those who are different from you . . .
. . . hurting others by what you say and do . . .
How you treat the creation reflects how you feel about the creator.
Creator God, we thank you for all that you have made.
We are sorry that sometimes we do not look after your creation as we should.
Please help us to try to make the world a better place.
‘What a wonderful world’ by Louis Armstrong
‘All things bright and beautiful’ or ‘Jesus is Lord! Creation’s voice proclaims it’ (Hymns Old and New (Kevin Mayhew), 26 or 387, 2008 edition)