All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
Cecil Frances Alexander (1848)
I love to travel. I love the natural beauty of it all. I love that our world varies so with the time of the year. I’m fascinated that light is real and that darkness is the absence of reality – of light. I’m amazed by the enormity of the heavens, by the brightness of the sun and moon and stars at night, that we can see them clearly from so far away. I love their brightness and their beauty. It reminds me of a hymn that I’ve sung and enjoyed many times. “All Things Bright and Beautiful” is an Anglican hymn sung in many other Christian denominations. Its words wonderfully describe the beauty of creation.
All things bright and beautiful. How descriptively powerful those words are. Look around you today at God’s handiwork. In the creation story in Genesis after creating light, the earth and sky, the waters and the expanse of heaven, He declared them “Good.” Then after He created all things that grew from the earth, all creatures that flew in the expanse and all living creatures that roamed the earth, He declared them “Good.” Then He said, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the livestock and over all the earth, and over every crawling thing that crawls on the earth.” (Genesis 1:31a NASB) And He declared, “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” Yes, very good!
As I look out my window I see newly budding trees of green, I see a flight of robins on my lawn. I have traveled in the mountains and have looked in awe at the grandeur of soaring snow-capped peaks and rushing mountain streams. I’ve walked through the forests of New England in the fall and marveled at the tapestry of colors. I’ve seen His creatures in the seas and in the skies. As a physician I’ve witnessed the miracles of birth; I’ve been present at the passing of saints into the arms of Jesus. I’ve been blessed to have seen “all things bright and beautiful.
So a question for you: Why did God create all of these beautiful things? Did He need beauty for Himself? Of course not. He created everything that is, that has been and that ever will be! So why?
He did it for one reason, and He says this over and over in His Word: Because He loves us! He created it all for us. He made the brightness and the beautiful, and the creatures and the earth and sea and sky for our enjoyment. He did it because of the most important part of His character: love. How blessed we are! As John, the elderly apostle wrote toward the very end of his life, “We love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 NASB) Did he ever!!