I (Jim) am reading Jonathan Edwards on Beauty during Lent. Yes, Lent is historically a time when Christians face their need for the cross of Christ as we prepare for Easter week. We give up things in order to feel our compulsions. I’m all for that. But I’m going at things differently this year based on my dad’s words to me when I was a kid–if you want to see if a stick is crooked put it beside a straight one.
The beauty of the Lord is indeed a perfectly straight stick revealing the bends and crooks in my life. And it is God’s beauty that is the starting point in Edward’s Christianity. As he understood it God is glorious because God is perfectly and completely 1) eternal, 2) great, 3) lovely, 4) powerful, 5) wise, 6) holy and 7) good.
We know this most clearly in Christ who is the exact representation of the unfathomably God. Jesus told the disciples to go fishing after not catching a thing all night (Luke 5). They did and needed another boat to handle the load. At this amazing display of goodness “awestruck” Peter saw himself as “too much of a sinner” to be around Jesus. The beauty of goodness led Peter to an appropriate Lenten response.
So this Lent the focus of my meditation is the beauty of the Triune God. I have found God’s beauty to be confounding and humbling. I am grateful and encouraged. I want to surrender to the presence of the One who is love.
In what way is the beauty of God making a difference in your soul?