Monday, April 03, 2006


When God finished his creation he “saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Psalm 19 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”

Sometimes we assume that the world is “just the way it had to be.” And while it is true that everything in the universe is
minutely fine-tuned to work properly, God did not just create a functional world. Instead, he created a cosmos whose “exceptional beauty reveals the astounding craftsmanship of the Artisan.”

Not only does the beauty of creation call us to worship the Creator, but beauty also changes us. “Beauty is key to our spiritual formation.” As
John Cunningham explains, “Often we reduce the means of becoming godly to a formula something like: truth + commitment = growth.” So we think that all we need is more (or better) information and more motivation. Instead, he writes, “We become beautiful as we participate in the harmonious corporate life of a redeemed people who are, in turn, grounded in and reflective of the very Beauty of God.”

This not only has implications for our worship. But it also has
implications for our worship spaces: “Worship is about placing ourselves as close to God's presence as possible. If a beautiful and purpose-built space can assist with that effort, then it is not, in any fashion, a waste of money.”

But beauty does not have value only as an explicit aid to worship. It has value in itself. “
Creating something of beauty in life is praiseworthy, and is an important way to glorify God in this life.”

Tom Wright points out that beauty is not only a reflection of God’s creation but that it also points to the New Creation:
“Art at its best not only draws attention to the way
things are but to the way things are meant to be… And when Christian artists go to that task they will be… pointing forwards to the new world God intends to make, the world already seen in advance in the resurrection of Jesus, the world whose charter of freedom was won when he died on the cross. It is by such means as this that we may learn again to imagine a world without evil, and to work for that to become, in whatever measure we can, a reality even in the midst of the present evil age.”

Beauty matters.

Pastor Rod

“Helping you become the person God created you to be”

No comments: