For we are His workmanship* [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them
- Ephesians 2:10
*Poiema: Greek; meaning; made by God, i.e. his work of art, his masterpiece, his poetry.
commoners communion is a blog, podcast & community of people exploring conversations in christian spirituality centered around beauty, mystery & revelation.
We are all made in the image of God, we are all made beautiful. The story of God is about the return of the fullness of that beauty to humanity through the Son of heaven himself, Jesus. Our spirituality is so much more than moral prose or a new set of rules, it's about the mystery of the indwelling of God in his people. In Ephesians 2:10 we're told that we, now new in Jesus' love, are "God's masterpiece" and this word masterpiece in the Greek is Poiema; the very same word we get our modern term poem from.
We are God's poetry, his song, his work of art. Beauty in all its range is the central paradigm of art sparking human imagination and welcoming a longing world home into the arms of hope. We are that song for creation and God's love is the melody we sing.
Ancient cultures believed that to be a poet was one in the same as being a prophet. To speak in poetic prose was to translate the divine, to be an intimate of the gods. It was reserved for the few spiritually elite, the chosen ones, those worthy of the call. But here in Ephesians we find Paul revolutionizing that idea by claiming that now, in Jesus, we have all been made God's poetry. Not by experience or offering or by right, but as a gift of grace.
We are all now his poet-prophets, every one of us.
That's what Commoners Communion is about. Sparking conversations in Christian spirituality and seeking out how we live this life of beauty, mystery and revelation tangibly with our Father in heaven. It's a blog, podcast and community committed to embracing God as God and taking him at his word of being ever close to us in our daily lives.
We believe that the gospel of Jesus is beautiful and it's ultimate goal is to bring the colour and song of heaven into total unity with creation. Jesus is beautifying the world and we, made in his image, are the harmony of his melody. Compassion for the poor is beauty, challenging oppressive political systems is beauty, seeing light fill the dark voids of brokenness is beauty. If we are made new in Christ and that newness is God's artwork, then we are a sign that what God is bringing to earth is of unfathomable beauty and worthy of our deepest longings.
It was no token promise from God when he spoke through the old poet-prophetc Joel that "all would prophesy". Dreams, visions and words from God's heart were intended to be known and shared by all of God's people. If being physically born requires that we learn a new language and a new way of seeing the world, then the same can be true of hearing God's voice in it's many frequencies and arrangements. Many people believe that prophecy is primarily predictive but in Revelation 19:10 we hear that "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy". When "all" were prophesying at Pentecost it looked like a group of people revealing who God was in a unique way. This unique inspiration or intuition is accessible to all people because it's a fruit of simply residing in his Spirit, the wellspring of all faith, hope and love.
We can't talk about poetry and art without talking about mystery also. There are many things we can and do know about who God is and what he taught us. He taught us love, to give out of our excess to those who are in lack. To forgive, love and pray for our enemies and to consider matters of the heart as important as the work of the hand. But there is so much mystery when it comes to our relationship with God. Here we're seeking to grow in what we do know, that God is good, kind, compassionate, passionate infinitely loving and close - while holding in tension what we don't know about our circumstances and the world around us. A healthy mysticism entails our valuing questions as much as answers on the journey toward greater closeness to our heavenly Father.
About The Author
Strahan Coleman is a musician, writer, speaker, psalmist, story-teller and songwriter. For the past five years he has travelled through Australasia, America and Europe sharing his songs and stories in bars, festivals and churches alike. He has written and released four studio projects garnering for himself a New Zealand Music Award for his debut full length record 'Posters'. Strahan's writing style has often been described as psalmic, "[making] the tension between heaven and earth... that much more palpable" and his ability to tell stories has won him his listeners ears the world over.
Strahan is the creator and writer for Commoners Communion, a blog, podcast and conversational look at how poetry and revelation kiss in the life of Spirit filled humanity. Currently, he lives in Auckland with his wife Katie and two sons Mikal and Theodore where he is working on his first non-fiction prose.