Sunday, January 17, 2016

Will we see?

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4 ESV).
What explains beauty?

Why do we recognize beauty at all?  It's a question with much discussion and a long answer. It's bigger than this short reflection can cover, but I’ll touch on a small part of an explanation. I believe our perception of beauty rests in God. We look at his creation and the things we have made from his creation, and we see their beauty. We are can perceive beauty because God himself is beautiful and he made us for himself. We see his glory declared by them.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork" (Psalm 19:1 ESV).

As beautiful as nature is, it is a dim reflection
of the beauty of God. As amazing as humanity is (and we are amazing, for we bear his image) we pale in comparison to the Son, for he is the very image of God. When you see the Son, you see the Father (John 14:9). Flesh veiled his divine glory during his earthly ministry, yet his glory remained evident to those with eyes to see. After his resurrection and ascension, there was more.

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3a ESV).

Jesus is the apaugasma, the radiance reflection, or brilliance of the glory of God. He does not merely reflect this glory. He himself is the incarnate reflection of this glory. So, in nature we see declarations of glory. In humanity, we see his image born in creation. In the Son, we see the glory itself.

His glory is everywhere we look, and if we are to perceive and experience it, we must attend.  We must pause along the way,
And so we wait...
being where we are rather than where we intend to end up. We must see reality in light of God's beauty, for only then will the impact be sufficient. Only then will we understand his glory in that which is daily and mundane. Only then will we see how the variety in creation reflects God's variegated glory. We will see his glory reflected in the daily transformation of night to day and day to night. We will see it reflected in the transformation of spring blooms to summer fruit and fall harvest to winter rest. We will begin to understand that while God's glory is more complex and beautiful than creation can ever tell, creation continues to declare. We will see that even when darkness and chill
shroud his glory, it remains visible for those who see.

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