Beauty as a Signpost to God, Part 2

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Beauty as a Signpost to God, Part 2

Above the entrance, from the interior to the exterior of the temple, and on every interior and exterior wall, there were carved winged creatures and palm trees. The palm trees were positioned between the winged creatures, and each winged creature had two faces.

Ezekiel 41:17

The fact that we can perceive things as beautiful, I believe, points to the existence of a God who loves beauty and created us in his own image. I talked about this in yesterday's reflection. Yet beauty also calls us to God as it inspires in us a yearning for the author of beauty.

Many people who love natural beauty almost seem to worship nature itself. For them, the natural world is all there is to beauty. Christians, however, think differently of the glory of creation. As N. T. Wright explains in Simply Christian, "The Christian tradition has said, and indeed sung, that the glory belongs to God the creator. It is his voice we hear echoing off the crags, murmuring in the sunset. It is his power we feel in the crashing of the waves and the roar of the lion. It is his beauty we see reflected in a thousand faces and forms" (p. 45).

Thus, when I am overwhelmed by the glory of a sunset, I am not just experiencing a human response to a natural phenomenon. I am also hearing the voice of God speaking to my heart, calling me to know him, to enjoy him, and to delight in his beauty.

Worshiping something beautiful, whether it is natural or made by human beings, is idolatry. Yet, when I allow the beauty of this world to become a signpost to God, then I am drawn to worship the one true God, the creator of all things, the source of beauty who is himself beautiful.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How has the beauty of this world drawn your heart to worship God? What helps you not to worship the beautiful thing, but rather to worship the God who is the author of beauty?

PRAYER:

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Amen.

"For the Beauty of the Earth," by Folliott S. Pierpoint. Public Domain.
 

Images sourced via Creative Commons.