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    CPR Reflection: Beauty in Everything

    The Story of Everything, Conclusion and Chapters 2-3 January 16, 2018 Jude St. John
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    Well, if you are following along in our CPR reading plan and decided the ambitious route—which has you reading 3 of Jared Wilson’s books—then you will be reading chapters 2 and 3 of The Story of Everything this week. If that is you, thanks for joining us. If it isn’t you, you’ll still find this post of interest.

    In The Story of Everything, Wilson writes,

    I have not traveled as extensively as I'd like, but I've seen both jungles and deserts. I've seen oceans and landlocked plains. I've seen big cities and tiny villages. And I've seen glory everywhere. I've smelled the hay and the manure inside a Vermonter's old barn and felt the world was beautiful. And I've craned my neck to look up at the Empire State Building and felt the world was beautiful. I confess it is difficult for me to imagine how the world could get much more beautiful.

    We are all stirred by different things. I prefer the mossy forests of Vermont and the Pacific Northwest to the piney woods of Texas, but others feel different I prefer the foggy coastlines of New England to the sunny shores of Florida, but college students aren't flocking to Massachusetts for spring break. I prefer the mountains to the plains. But nobody can deny that wherever you go in God’s creation, you are bound to find beauty. (63-4)

    One of the things this passage caused me to reflect on was the graciousness of God—his common grace—in providing something beautiful for everyone. Wilson is noting that we all have preferences in regards to what is aesthetically pleasing: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And God has created a world so astoundingly rich in diversity that everyone can find something they consider beautiful.

    For instance, one of my favourite landscapes is in eastern Montana that locals often call the badlands or the Missouri breaks. The pictures you see are examples of this scenery. I just love its ruggedness, barrenness, and wildness. I’ll take this over the mountains any day. However, I have also had the privilege of visiting New York City a few times and I find it mesmerizing as well. And not the touristy parts as much as the nitty-gritty urban-ness of its boroughs and neighbourhoods. Now the differences between New York and eastern Montana are vast, and yet I perceive beauty in both. And there is a huge world full of beautiful sights and smells and senses; there is something for everyone. 

    This is nothing less than the grace of God. And it reflects who he is: his beauty is not just very diverse, it is infinitely diverse. In him, for everyone, are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16). The diverse beauty of God is seen most clearly in his Son, Jesus Christ. If God’s grace can be seen in the plethora of physical beauty contained in our planet, it can be apprehended million times more in God the Son. His attributes and characteristics and words and work will be more than we can admire and adore in eons of heavenly existence. We have the great privilege of looking upon his beauty now, even as we have the privilege of observing the beauty of this planet. Let me encourage you to do so. We see the beauty of the planet best by travel. We see the beauty of the God best in his Word. Take some time today, and every day, to marvel at the beauty of Christ by reading the Scriptures.

    What a God! A beautiful earth. A beautiful redemption. A beautiful Saviour!

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