Beauty.

On a cold, misty morning we met at the bandstand for worship.

The beauty of creation is a symbol of God’s beauty and a demonstration of his creativity. We were encouraged to be in awe and wonder at God’s creation and to thank him for beauty.

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The following  verses from Psalms 8, 19 & 50 were read out:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens. 

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.

 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

 

By this time the sun was breaking through the mist, and the morning was beginning to warm.

We thought about “What is beauty?” with help from several quotes:

“Beauty is that which pleases and delights.”  Wilfred Owen.

“Beauty is the illumination of your soul.”  John O’Donohue.

“…..the beauty in God’s universe is intended to fill us with joy and inspiration.”  Michael Abbate.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”  Ecclesiastes 3:11

“Beauty is a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.”  Khalil Gibran.

“You’re so beautiful, my love, so beautiful!.. your smile is generous and full….our lips are jewel red, your mouth elegant and inviting… my love you are beautiful beyond compare!” Song of Songs

“Outer beauty pleases the eye, inner beauty captivates the heart.”  Mandy Hale.

“Nothing can make the lives of people more beautiful than constant kindness.”  Tolstoy.

“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.”  John Keats.

“Beauty is the way you think, beauty is the way you act, beauty is what you are.”  Brianna Kimball.

“Think of all the beauty still around you and be happy.”  Anne Frank.

Consider:

Does beauty necessarily go hand in hand with pleasure?

Do we love beauty because it gives us pleasure?

Or is it other way round, do we see beauty through pleasure?

Is the appreciation of beauty something that is worthwhile just in itself?

How does inner beauty feature in all this?

Is it still possible to see beauty in the face of great suffering?

(In the film “The Pianist” the Jewish-Polish musician temporarily escapes the desolation and suffering of Warsaw in WWII by playing Chopin.)

 

When we are creative we participate with God’s creativity, beauty and mystery. So we were asked to create something beautiful – a piece of writing, a poem, a drawing, a photograph, a prayer or a piece of liturgy.

Here are some of our attempts at being creative:

Leaves beautiful on their own made into a beautiful wave.

A Blessing for Friends

May you know the peace that comes with inner beauty,

and may the Lord inspire beauty in your life and works.

May you be inspired every day with the beauty that you see,

and not be blinded to the artistry of God that surrounds you.

May God’s beauty illuminate your soul and influence the way you think, the way you act and the way you are.

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Beauty in death of a seed head.

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Beauty in the changed of the seasons. New growth showing signs of spring.

A creative way of using language in a famous Spanish saying. This is a play on words for those who are linguists !!

“Hacer lo que quieres es libertad, querer lo que haces, felicidad”

(translation “To do what you want is freedom; to love what you do, happiness”)

sunshine epiphany

Greyness banished.

The Word spoken.

The sunshine illumines.

We hunger for more reality of that which we clutch at.

 

The dalliance of dogs,

running, playing, living for the sheer heaven of it.

 

The bread and the wine,

Prepared and at the centre.

Jesus community now.

Rubbings made of beautiful patterns on tree bark.

 

We ended our worship by sharing bread and wine using the words of sunshine epiphany.

 

By this time it was so warm and sunny that we had our Fairtrade coffees sat outside at Cool River!

 

 

 

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