Psalm 96:1-6 NIV 1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
“The beautiful unity that the Spirit generates is not one of homogenized harmony or bland replication but one in which the unique particularity of things is enabled and promoted; it is the Spirit’s office ‘to realise the true being of each created thing by bringing it, through Christ, into saving relation with God the Father.’” (Begbie, Jeremy S.. A Peculiar Orthodoxy: Reflections on Theology and the Arts. Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.)
The call for us is to live beautifully by the improvisation and dynamism of the Holy Spirit. We are to bear beautiful fruit. It is therefore the responsibility for the Christian to live in this creative, costly beauty that counters cheap beauty, cheap cliches and emotional self-indulgence. We are to be bearers of true beauty – the gospel.
Prayer: By your Spirit, Lord, may we live beautifully, bearing the true beauty of the gospel. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “I Will See The Lord” by People & Songs (click here).
Psalm 27:4 NIV One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
“The Tabernacle was meant to delight the eye, the nose, the ear, and not least the imagination…those involved in the construction and decoration were themselves being ennobled by being involved in God’s planned beauty…It is all preparation, again not for a dead king and his potential postmortem existence in some imagined underworld, but for the living God, the powerful and glorious Creator of all, who would come and fill this Tabernacle with his presence. This is a God who delights in beauty and wants his image-bearing human creatures to make more and more of it…Our human drive for beauty, for transcendent meaning, turns out to be more than we ever expected. It is God-given: a signpost, designed to lead us back to his presence.” (Wright, N. T.. Broken Signposts. HarperCollins. Kindle Edition)
As human beings what we crave the most is God himself. If God is beautiful, and we are attracted to true beauty, then it only makes sense that we crave the presence of God.
Prayer: Lord, may we dwell in your presence, gaze on your beauty and seek you all the days of our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “With Everything” by Hillsong (click here).
Genesis 1:31 NIV God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
“Yet into this brokenness comes a God who seems to care deeply about beauty, a God who, according to the Bible, created the heavens and the earth to tell of his glory—not because he needed us to admire that glory, but because the glory was a true outflowing of his own generous love. What’s more, this God dares to whisper to us, even in the midst of our fractured world, that we are created in his own image and that this God-reflecting vocation can be and is being restored. This is in fact a major theme of the New Testament.” (Wright, N. T.. Broken Signposts. HarperCollins. Kindle Edition)
What’s incredible is that God wants us to experience his beauty. He whispers it to us even in the midst of a broken world. We are created in his own image, and our purpose is to reflect God’s beauty, even if our brokenness and sin have distorted it. As Christians, this purpose can not only be restored but is already restored in Christ.
Prayer: Thank you Lord that in your generous love for us, you created the heavens and the earth, and created us in your image. May we reflect your beauty to this world. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “King Jesus” by Matt Redman (click here).
Genesis 1:1, 10, 18, 21, 25 NIV In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…And God saw that it was good.”
“Above all, beauty is deeply and profoundly bound up with God’s very being; simply put, God is beauty itself. More than a few passages in the Hebrew Scriptures bear witness to this. In the Exodus narrative, the two names that God gives to Moses testify to the fact that God’s very being, which ultimately no name can contain, is a plenitude or excess of formal content, an endless reservoir of the power to exist. If beauty provides a thing its capacity to be what it is as an object that attracts others to itself, then God as the origin of all such things is supremely full of beauty, or supremely beautiful, or simply beauty itself. As such, it is God’s very self that becomes the source of all attraction demonstrating how God’s revelation of his identity also carries with it the idea that God’s being, as beauty itself, is a power that calls all things to attraction.” (Sammon, Brendan Thomas. Called to Attraction: An Introduction to the Theology of Beauty Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition)
And this extravagant goodness, or beauty, takes form in the gospels. It’s the oversupply of wine at Cana. It’s the welcome Jesus shows to outcasts and sinners. It is the undeserved forgiveness won on the cross. It is Jesus coming alongside the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Just as God’s beauty is good, it is also active and dynamic.
Prayer: Lord, we confess that you are the origin of all things full of beauty, beautiful and simply beauty itself. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing, “Psalm 139” by Shane & Shane (click here)
Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Beauty is not only aesthetics, emotional, indulgent or subjective. When we love God, we receive faith to know he exists and loves us. And in doing so, we can see and live in the possibility of God’s beauty in our lives, in the world around us and in eternity. God’s beauty is objective – within the mystery of the Trinity, expressed through the gospel in perfect love.
Prayer: God, forgive me for the times of filling my eyes with subjective, fleeting, dysmorphic views of beauty. As we love you, fill us with your Spirit that we may daily live in the true beauty that we find in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “Where The Spirit Of The Lord Is” by Hillsong (click here).