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Beauty and Sabbath Are Reflections of God's Abundance

Beauty and Sabbath go hand in hand. Both are extravagant. Unproductive. Unnecessary. Both are reflections of God's abundance and reminders that the world is chiefly a gift to receive, not a prize to be earned. Beauty doesn't have to exist. The fact that humans delight in sunsets, symphonies … and pecan pie cannot be explained by the Darwinian account of human existence.

The only explanation that makes sense of beauty is that we are created in the image of God who relishes it; a non-utilitarian God. Just look at the ten thousand species of birds in the world, or the four hundred thousand species of flowers; each unique in color, shape, and texture. Consider the diversity of spices—from cumin to cayenne to nutmeg and turmeric. God could have created the world so that humans only needed to have a bland, gruel-like substance in order to survive, but he didn't. He created thousands of edible plants and animals, from which millions of culinary combinations could be made. He created humans with taste buds to appreciate things like salted caramel gelato, buttermilk fried chicken, and lamb tagine. Just as he is a God who not only creates but pauses to enjoy what he has created (Gen. 1:31), so he created us with the capacity to enjoy. That's why beauty exists.

When we refuse to observe the Sabbath and don't allow space for the enjoyment of beauty, we implicitly signal a mentality that doubts the goodness of God. But when we do stop to rest, to feast, to "smell the roses," we display a contentedness and calm acceptance about the world and the One who holds it together.


Brett McCracken, The Wisdom Pyramid, (Crossway, 2021), pp. 140-141

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