F is “For the Beauty of the Earth”

If you have never heard the hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth”, I highly recommend you do so (I particularly like the version that is done by a group called The New Liturgy). Here is the first verse:

For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

This song gets at a few different ideas throughout its length. It touches on love, joy, the church, and more. But more importantly than all of those things it touches on how they are all part of God’s good creation.

The fact is when God made the world he said that it was good. He made a beautiful creation that was stamped with the artistry, the creativity of its Creator. Our world is so beautiful! Look at these pictures below:

And imagine this: this our world after it has been corrupted by sin! Imagine if we could see the world as it was intended to be, how beautiful it would be.

Here is how I understand the flow of Scripture: God made a good creation, but that God wants to restore it back to the way it was. And, no, this is not some “green” agenda that I’m trying to push (although I do think that we need to be conscious of how we treat God’s creation), but I am attempting to articulate the “new heaven, and a new earth” that Isaiah and Revelation talk about.

You see, creation is more than just something for God to look at. I even would go as far as to say that it is more than simply to glorify himself. Instead, I might suggest that the world, as we know it, is God’s intended home. He intends to dwell with his people, his church universal (John 1 shows this). I think to affirm that creation is bad and that God is just going to wipe it out in the end is to affirm Gnosticism and other historical heresies that suggest that God’s creation is evil and that we must escape it.

God created a good creation and I believe he intended it to be a good creation. And when you look about yourself at God’s beautiful creation, remember that God loves it and that he will restore it to its original beauty someday. We will live here with God, in due time, and  we will live in a more beautiful creation, free of death, sin, and decay. That’s a promise I can get behind! May it be so, Lord Jesus!

Next Post: G is for Grace

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