If I’m not careful, I let myself get stuck staring at a computer screen all day, pretty much every day. As the weather gets nicer outside, I find this dreadful. Last Monday, I intentionally took a 15 minute break, went outside, laid in the sun, played with the grass, and felt the breeze. It was more beautiful than the rest of my day and something I’m convinced I need to do every day, because as I laid in the grass, God gave me life for that day.
In the first creation narrative of Genesis, God declares the goodness of God’s creation seven times. God even looks upon everything God has created and finds it “supremely good” (Genesis 1:31 CEB).
The story of God begins with beauty.
When we look upon the world we live in, we might struggle to come to the same conclusion as God did. The brokenness of sin and death is often much easier to find than the beauty of love and life. And maybe rightly so, because the world we are a part of now is different from the world God found “supremely good” in the beginning. Sin and death have come into the world, and the world is no longer how God intended it to be.
We might begin to think that God’s mission is simply to get rid of a problem. When we view God’s mission as getting rid of something, I think we miss the fullness of God’s abundant life.
Because the divine, the beautiful, the sacred, is to be found all around – if we simply slow down enough and pay enough attention. If we take a break from the manufactured computers of our lives, we can participate in God’s life-giving creation. If we take our focus off ourselves and put it on others, we can love the way God intended us to love. And just as we can participate in God’s life-giving creation, we can participate in God’s life-giving mission, helping creation live into the fullness of God’s life.
Recognizing and living in the beauty of God’s world is the beginning of living in God’s mission. If we take seriously the scriptural testimony to a God who is at work in the world, restoring and reconciling all creation to God’s self, we begin to see that God isn’t starting over from scratch and isn’t just solving a sin problem but is working to restore creation to its intended wholeness, beauty, and supreme goodness.
How does beginning with the goodness of God’s creation affect the way we view God’s mission in the world?
Right now, how can you slow down to see the beauty of God’s life in the people, places, and creation around you?