Beauty and Function

I was thinking and talking recently about what it means to live a life devoted to Christ; not being just a mere Christian, i.e., attending a weekend service, or if you are really Holy, a Wednesday bible study too; but rather, a new life in Jesus. A life where every moment of every day is both normal and sacred. This morning, I was reading Eugene Peterson’s book on Jeremiah, Run with the Horses and I came across this:

We commonly separate the useful and the beautiful, the necessary and the elegant. We use brown paper bags for containers to which no one bothers to give shape or color or design. After all, we only want something in which to get our groceries home. Then we buy paintings to beautify the walls of our homes. We build featureless office buildings and ugly factories for our necessary work, then we build museums to contain the objects of beauty. But there have been times in history when these things were done better, when the necessary and the beautiful were integrated, when, in fact, it was impossible to think of separating them.Peterson, Eugene H.. Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best (Kindle Locations 944-948). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

He was speaking of the invention of pottery. And how for them at the time it was both exactly functional, and exactly beautiful. You couldn’t separate the two. That is how our lives should be. Inseparably Holy and Normal. Beautiful, and functional. Spiritual and physical.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”Romans 12:1–2 Message

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