Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! (NLT)
The world was born beautiful. We were born beautiful. The first reality of creation and of birth is not sin but beauty. The ugly reality of sin comes later, when that creation and those people become tarnished. The very good world is no longer simply very good. The ever so appealing infant grows up to be a mixed bag.
We must not downplay the horrible effect human rebellion against God has had on the world and on each of us. The story of the Bible traces how and why we have gone astray. And it also tells us how our loving God is seeking to put things right.
However, this biblical story of sadness and injustice and loss is bookended by episodes of perfect beauty. God in the beginning made a beautiful world which he called very good. And at the very end of the Bible we read that God will banish all that is not good and usher in the very good new heavens and new earth. We will have come full circle.
So while we yet sin and so desperately need grace and mercy, we were made originally as God’s masterpieces. And in Christ, that is to be our destiny. Recall that familiar story of the Prodigal Son. He did get terribly lost in the pigsties of the far country, but his true home was in his father’s secure house. He didn’t start off lost: he started off as a much loved child of a father who provided for him.
And that story ends with his coming home to just that destiny. May that be our story too.