Guest Post by Jonny Baker
It’s easy to forget the beauty of the story of creation in Genesis because of arguments around whether it is myth or literal, how long it might have taken and evolution. That’s a shame because it’s a magical story! Creation Stations is a resource with eight parts that has been designed to let that story be told and experienced on its own terms and to help people regain a sense of lost wonder.
The world we live in is amazing – broken, yes, but still filled with incredible creatures and things to explore. Visiting Creation Stations in action for me was a reminder of the wonder of the planet. The final part of the journey, and my personal favourite part, recounts the story of creation in a playful fashion. I lay on a comfy bean bag with my eyes closed feeling a sense of excitement and wonder again at the potential God put in the creation for us to unfold or develop. Recovering lost wonder hopefully makes us all treasure the planet more and look after it. As well as exploring the wonder, one of the stations involved reflecting on our use of creation’s gifts and resources. It also had a confession. It made me think how complicated it is to know how best to look after God’s world. Is oil a good or bad thing? That’s too simple – it’s how we use the gifts that have been given, but with something like oil sadly there is lots for us to confess at how it’s been used to pollute and divide the rich from the poor.
Let me rewind slightly. In Creation Stations there are eight stations that tell the story. The first is called ‘void’ reflecting on the moment before creation, then there is a station for each of the six days of creation which takes a theme of that day to explore, and finally the last station, ‘rest’, is in the centre of the space. Each station has a designed poster, some things to reflect on and small rituals to do. There is an accompanying series of meditations with ambient music that participants listen to on headphones at each station. The track ‘Rest’ has become something of a favourite which creatively recaps the story as people sit on beanbags at the final station – this is the one that caught me up when I first experienced it.
Creation Stations can be set up and run much like an art installation that runs for a week in a venue. That was how it was first envisaged and has been run at Greenbelt and Grace and other places. But it can also work well as an event – for an event it helps if you have a café or space where people can relax while they wait to start the installation because you don’t want everyone doing it at the same time.
If you haven’t got access to music players for the meditations you could simply print the meditations out.
There is a set of photos of it in action at Grace here.
In our fast paced busy lives I increasingly find that worship that I can relate to is that which helps me reflect, slow down prayerfully, and reflect on my life and relations with myself, God, others and the world around me. If you are the same Creation Stations may be worth exploring…
The Creation Stations resource is available to download from proost.co.uk in two parts. Creation Stations includes the leader’s guide, posters, an interactive quiz and any files you need for the stations. Creation Stations Meditations is the album of meditation tracks.