5/13/2014

"B" is for Beauty


Psalm 27:4 (Gen 27:27-28; 29:17-20)

"One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple." (Ps 90:17 says, "And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us..." [KJV])

(Last week's theme was "A" is for Accountability. The questions were, "Do you have a Nathan? Are you a Nathan? Would having a Nathan and being a Nathan burden or enrich your life? Why?")

Theme/thesis: Human beings inextricably link together love, beauty and happiness. Thus, we can never resist desiring and loving what we find most beautiful.

Key Questions: What is most beautiful to you? Are you attracted to "the beauty of the Lord"?

Beauty: “I used to ask my friends, 'Do we love anything but the beautiful? What then is the beautiful? And what is beauty? What is it that allures and unites us to the things we love? For unless there were a grace and beauty in them, they could not possibly attract us to them'” St. Augustine, Confessions, Bk. IV, ch. 13.

Questions for Reflection:
  1. Are you wired for beauty? Why (Gen 1:31; 2:8-9; Ps 19:1; Eccl 3:11; Rom 1:20)?
  2. Is your life always attracted to beauty? In your experience has this been good or bad?
  3. When you became a Christian, was it "beauty" (and love) that touched and transformed your heart and life?
  4. How might beauty deceive you (Gen 3:6)?
  5. Consider Isaac and his son Jacob. What did they each find beautiful (Gen 27:27-28; 29:17-20)? How did it affect them? What were the consequences?
  6. Consider the beauty of God in:
    • Creation (See #1).
    • Fall (Gen 3:15; Rom 5:8).
    • Incarnation (Jn 1:14; Col 1:15; Heb 1:3).
    • Redemption (Mk 10:45; Lk 23:34; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 2:20; See #7).
    • Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).
    • Christ (Mt 11:28-30).
    • The Trinity (Jn 3:16; whole Bible).
    • Consummation (Jn 14:3; 17:24; Rev 21:1; 22:4).
  7. How can beauty redeem us (Ps 27:4; Isa 33:17; 1 Pet 3:3-4)?