Anachronism: Beauty & The Arts

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Why Christians should seek out and experience Beauty through the arts:

Throughout this passage God creates, beholds, and evaluates. He declares, ‘It is good’. This simple statement of satisfaction demonstrates both the perfection of God’s judgment and the excellence of that which He judges. His works are ‘good’ and the act of recognizing its goodness shows that his judgment is perfect. His statements reveal a Creator reveling not simply in the practical and functional utility of His work, but also in its sheer beauty. That God loves beautiful things is a vital truth for Christians who would fully live their lives as God's image-bearers.

In verse 26 of today’s passage, God declares that of all the things He has created, there are two creatures, man and woman, who will receive the profound gift God’s own image, the imago deo. This image is the main feature that distinguishes Mankind from every other creature on earth. It is essential to understanding Beauty. As His image bearers, every human shares His love of beautiful things to some finite degree. This is why we spend such a large amount of discretionary time in the creation or appreciation of beauty. Our pursuit of these experiences has absolutely nothing to do with our physical survival. Painting, music, poetry, and sculpting offer no survival value. Instead, it is the imago deo that causes us to delight in the experience of Beauty, and leads us to pursue encounters with it.

It is the dignity of this image that instills the work of artists with importance equal to that of pastors and preachers. Art is ephemeral. It may seem that the effort spent by artists in the creation of objects of contemplation is utterly wasted. Wouldn’t that time and energy be better spent in more practical benefits, or better, in the communication of the truths of God? What possible value would there be in the pursuit of the creation of art?  

The value of Beauty, in its transcendent sense, is not established by its nature. The true value of Beauty is derived from the value of He who esteems it. It is because of the incalculable worthiness of God that those things He values are inestimably valuable and worthy of our attention. 

Prayer: Father, please help me to embrace the gift of your image, redeemed in Christ, and help me to fully express it through a purposeful pursuit of beauty

Music: Wonder

Psalm 8

Take a few moments to slow down and listen to the quiet contemplation of the heavens. The composer describes this work as a 'dialogue with the night sky.' Listen for the crystalline shimmering of stars in the cold night sky in the piano as the strings meditate on them with a human warmth.

For more songs, videos, and to Join the Movement of creating within the church and for the culture at Garden City /Anachronism