on Beauty

August 5, 2020 § 3 Comments

“Ah, but we want so much more–something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and the mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words–to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

We don’t hear enough about beauty in Christian circles. For church people immersed in mission and budgets, ultimate things, and immediate needs, the idea of beauty is often seen as extravagant, though not necessary. I would argue that it drives the Church’s best expressions.

Waterrock Knob @ Sunset – Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Waterrock Knob @ Sunset – Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

“Vast, Unmeasured, Boundless, Free…”

lyrics to Oh, the Deep Deep Love of Jesus

Mark Ladd & Samuel T. Francis

Where better than in a Mountain Sunset are the layers of God’s lavish and unbounded love more beautifully put on display?

Sunrise @ Waterrock Knob – Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

“The Christian is the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars.”

Francis A. Schaeffer, Art & the Bible

What greater pallet to stimulate the imagination than an entire horizon, where earth and tree, sun and clouds, sky and mountain, colors and textures meet in perfect alignment and beauty?

Sunrise @ Waterrock Knob – Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

“I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

Revelation 22:6b

Where else can we find the slightest sense of God’s glory, and the majesty, and beauty of Jesus, than when darkness is pierced and overcome by sunrise?

Early Morning Dawn @ Waterrock Knob – Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Sea of Clouds Sunrise Above Waynesville, NC (special thanks to Chris Paulis for editing lines out of the shot!)

“And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.”

Genesis 1:5

Afternoon atop Mt. Mitchell – Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11

In some way, beauty is God’s promise of future joy in the way the rainbow accompanied God’s covenant with Noah. God doesn’t deal in junk. He restores and transforms broken things and people, “to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit…” (Isaiah 61:3a).

Ironically, for those who follow Jesus, the most hideous display in history stands as the most beautiful. In his gruesome crucifixion, sin was atoned for, and forgiveness assured. In the resurrection, death was crushed forever, and in his return, one day, all things will be made new.

How Beautiful.

Sunrise @ Waterrock Knob Summit – Blue Ridge Mountains, NC

Thanks for joining me!

grace & peace.

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