30 August 2017 by romanin
I think it’s interesting how God’s creation account in Genesis displays, over the course of six days, a higher and higher degree of order as creation comes to be. In the beginning there is a distinction between darkness and light; and isn’t order simply distinction? Finally on the sixth day there is a distinction between the earth and sky, the land and sea, the plants and earth, the stars in heaven, the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, and the animals on the ground, each bearing their own unique and profound order. And of course, each creature is able to reproduce more of its kind, in an orderly fashion.
Then God plants a garden and charges mankind to have dominion over it, and of course, to multiply. So God creates everything orderly and good, and then asks man to manage the garden he plants. As I was at Christ In The Wilderness in Illinois, I was walking through the woods, and had a thought. There was a divine chaos about me. Each living thing in the woods, created by God, orderly and wonderful, alive and growing, was uniquely beautiful, elegant, and orderly. But together the whole mess of plants, animals, insects, trees and birds looked like a mess! And isn’t life a mess sometimes? Yet I have seen gardens and arboretums, and front yards that have a wonderful structured order.
I made the connection that even though God created the universe with a profound order, he created in man the desire and ability to see a different kind of order come from the “gardening” or stewardship of God’s creation. Isn’t that what art is, or a beautiful building? A way of taking what God has made and creating a little more order in our world.
As distinct from animals, one of the most beautifully profound gifts that God has given mankind is the ability, desire, and propensity to create. And not only to create to solve problems, but, in the way of art, to create something simply for the pleasure of creating something beautiful. I think music, painting, sculpting, gardening, I think that the fine arts we have as a human race glorify God and reveal some of the image of God that we all bear.
In Revelation 21:26 John writes that the glory and the honor of the nations will be brought into the new Jerusalem. Perhaps Art, the fruit of the creative spirit that reflects the image of God, is at least part of the “glory and honor of the nations” that will be brought into the New Jerusalem.