Tuesday, October 22, 2013

To Behold the Beauty

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. 
C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

"To find the place where all beauty came from."  How magnificent a thought.  The pursuit of beauty.  How wonderful a quest to shape the goals of life.

The Psalmist declares:

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
  (Psalm 27.4)

St. Paul sets forth the quest in saying: 

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  Philippians 4.8

A lovely prayer in the BCP for teachers asks the LORD to help teachers to form this pursuit in the lives of children:

GRANT, we beseech thee, O heavenly Father,
to all who teach in our schools, the spirit of
wisdom and grace, that they may lead their pupils
to reverence truth, desire goodness, and rejoice
in beauty
; so that all may come to know and
worship thee, the giver of all that is good;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
.   (For Teachers in Schools - BCP)

And again in the Thanksgiving prayer found in the Family Prayer section of the BCP.

O MOST merciful Father, we humbly thank
thee for all thy gifts so freely bestowed upon
us. For life and health and safety, for power to
work and leisure to rest, for all that is beautiful
in creation and in the lives of men
, we praise and
magnify thy holy Name. But, above all, we thank
thee for our spiritual mercies in Christ Jesus our
Lord, for the means of grace, and for the hope of
glory. Fill our hearts with all joy and peace in
believing; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Finally, from St. Peter, (though speaking about the desirable inner character of a woman, the substance of the thought is applicable to all ):

'...the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.'  (1 Peter 3.4)

Let us pursue the beauty that IS God, and FROM God, and ponder the beauty of God in each other.

In Christ,  Brian+

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