In the beginning ... God went to work on something amazing


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Looking at God’s creativity.

Key words/themes: Creativity, Beauty of Creation

Introduction: Take in a camera, talk about taking a picture on holiday, take in holiday snaps or sketch book.

Even though the photos/pictures we have remind us of the time we spent away - can they really capture what we have seen, the beauty of it all?

Main Content

Michelangelo (1475 - 1564), perhaps one of the greatest artists in history, painted Rome's famous Sistine Chapel to retell Genesis' story of creation. …… (Taken from Introduction to Genesis The Student Bible : Hodder & Stoughton)

Michelangelo had 6,000 square feet of ceiling to cover - the size of four average house roofs. Anyone who has painted a ceiling with a paint roller can understand it is a difficult task! But Michelangelo's plan called for 300 separate, detailed portraits of men and women. It took him more than three years to paint the vast overhead space with his tiny brushes.

Sometimes he painted standing on a huge scaffold - painting over his head. Sometimes he would sit, his nose inches from the ceiling. Sometimes he painted while lying on his back! In the long days of the summer he had the light to paint for 17 hours a day, taking food and a chamber pot up onto the high scaffold. For 30 days at a stretch he slept in his clothes, not even taking off his boots. Paint dribbled into his eyes so that he could hardly see. In the winter he froze - in the summer he sweated, but he just kept on painting until the ceilings were transformed into the creation drama, with creatures that looked so real they seemed to breathe.

But as Michelangelo knew very well, his work was a poor, dim image of what God created. Outside, over the Sistine Chapel was the great dome of God's sky, breathtaking in it's simple beauty. Mountains, seas, the continents all these and much, much more, the creative work of God, the Master Artist - so much bigger and more beautiful than Michelangelo's masterpiece.

Pupils' response

Ask the children to think about somewhere they have been over the holidays …. It may be somewhere abroad, by the seaside, a friend's garden; it may be a local park. Picture in their minds some of the things they saw ……… sun, rain, colours, leaves.

A prayer of Michelangelo - taken from Prayers for a Fragile World Compiled by Carol Watson: Lion 1991 Lord, Make me see your glory In every place. Amen