The Bible begins, in the very first verse, by revealing God as the original artist. He conceived the complex universe in his imaginative mind and then spoke it into existence with incomparable craftsmanship. He created the heavens and the earth and everything within them. The story really begins in verse 2, when God brought order out of chaos. He brought form to the formless void—his breath was hovering over the surface of the deep and he spoke into the darkness and filled the empty and uninhabitable earth! Like a master sculptor who begins with a block of marble or lump of clay, God took the formless earth and fashioned it into a marvelous masterpiece. Like a piano virtuoso who arranges musical notes into melodious score, God arranged all of the pieces of the world to play in harmony together: day and night, sun and moon, birds and sky, fish and sea, mammals and land, and man and woman.
Throughout Genesis 1, we witness God’s creative qualities and artistic abilities. His creation was not randomly or haphazardly thrown together; it was formed with intricate order and structure. There is a clear plan and a consistent pattern in the six days of creation. Do you see rhythm of creation? Each day begins with an announcement (“And God said”), and then a command (“Let there be…”), separation (“and he separated”), a report (“and it was so), a naming (“and God called”), an evaluation (And God saw that it was good”), and finally a chronological marker (and there was evening and morning…”).
The six days of creation are also divided into two triads, which contrast with the unformed and unfilled state of the earth when the story begins. On days 1, 2, and 3, God created light, sky and sea, and land and vegetation. Then on days 4, 5, and 6, God created the sun, moon, and stars to bear the light, fish to swim the seas and fowl to soar the skies, and livestock and wild animals to inhabit the land and eat the vegetation.
Like a Bach concerto or a great Jazz composition, the original artist displayed a brilliant blend of unity and diversity in his creation. God brought order to the uninhabitable chaos and created this picturesque planet as a place for life to flourish. Therefore, every time you gaze upon the mountains and meadows, rocks and rivers, and forests and flowers, pause and appreciate the intricacies of the original artist! Whether it’s the glimmer of a glorious sunrise shimmering across the sea or the alluring glow of a harvest moon hanging in the southern sky, the scent of balsam and fir while walking through the woods, the sweet taste of a ripe apple in autumn, or the sparrow singing her song in the bloomed dogwood, praise the original artist for his beauty and creativity! Every time you stroll through God’s multi-dimensional art gallery, take time to reflect on his handiwork and thank him for such incredible gifts. And as you enjoy God’s glorious creation, do your part to protect and preserve his marvelous masterpiece.
Eternal God, Creator of all that is seen and unseen, we worship you with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. You are, indeed, the divine and original artist. As you spoke the world into existence, you brought order out of chaos. You created time and space and filled your creation with all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful—yes Lord, you made them all! We praise you for your glorious creation and the many ways we can enjoy it. We humbly ask you to help us protect and preserve your handiwork.
O Lord, we thank you for creating human beings in your image and for giving us the capacity to cocreate with you. Help us discover and develop the artistic gifts that you have bestowed upon us so that we may glorify you and bless your people. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
 Jason R. McConnell, Beholding Beauty: Worshiping God Through the Arts. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2022, pp. 9-11.
This blog post is an excerpt from a forthcoming book edited by Beeson alumnus Jason McConnell called, Beholding Beauty: Worshiping God through the Arts (Wipf and Stock).