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Monday, January 4, 2010

The Necessity of Beauty

"The greatest truths
are wronged
if not linked with
and they win their way
most surely
and deeply
into the soul
when arrayed
in this
their natural and fit attire."
~ William Ellery Channing

The Necessity of Beauty

Jerusalem is built to be a city
where the people are united...
"May there be peace inside your walls
and prosperity in your palaces."
~ Psalms 122:3,7 (GW)

Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem ... "Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you."
~ Ezekiel 16:3,14 (NKJV)

Do not let your adornment be merely outward ... rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
~ 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NKJV)

Oh, Jerusalem! For three millennia, the city named "Headwaters of Peace" has proven to be anything but. Yet she remains God's jewel.

Jerusalem represents the church, Christ's bride. He sees both of them with the eyes of a Lover—adoring beauty despite the imperfections.

The Holy Spirit is the bride's valet, making her lovely for her Bridegroom. He clothes the church with the beauty of holiness—the fruit of love, joy, peace and such—to attract not only our Beloved Lord, but also to attract those people He is calling to be part of the church.

Self-righteousness is neither holy nor beautiful, and appeals to no one but itself.

If we attempt to lure converts with worldly means, the church plays a seductress who cannot sustain a meaningful relationship.

Fear might intimidate a soul to profess allegiance to Christ, but manipulation undermines trust.

Surrender to Jesus is gently compelled by truth clothed in holiness. The necessity of beauty for the church is its pure, accurate and irresistible portrayal of all He means to make of those who are His bride.

And beauty's crown is the unity exemplified by love.

Lord Jesus, how easily distracted and divided we are by worldly veneers. Please forgive us. Please open our eyes to see all You would have us be. Please draw us to the beauty of holiness found in Your Spirit's fruit. Please clothe us with such beauty, and crown us with unity.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved. #churchunity
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  1. You said all. I just say 'Amen!'

  2. I don't want to be reluctantly living for the Lord although at times I am. My goal is to live in light of God's eternal grace and love right here, right now. Hopefully the difference will be Christ shinning through me. No easy challenge.

  3. The other day I had a daydream of dancing with Jesus. Even a year ago I might have been weirded out by this vision. Hard to explain why. But the daydream was beautiful. Jesus is a cool dancer. I felt such peace from it.

    Just thought I'd share. ;)

    I hope every day I allow him to lead more in my life.
    ~ Wendy

  4. I think the mere existence of "beauty" is amazing. Why does it even need to be part of our lives? God could have created a cold, faceless world. Instead, he gave us color and smell and beauty for our enjoyment.

  5. Natasa, you strike me as someone with an appreciation for beauty who expresses it less than you'd like.

    T. Anne, remember the opportunities we have here we'll not have in Heaven, how much our brighter our light stands in contrast to darkness now.

    Wendy, the Lord Jesus is God and King, and He is also a delight in such personal contexts. I'm delighted that He allowed you such a beautiful vision to encourage you allowing Him to lead the dance of life.

    David, I've read somewhere that the arts and sciences are equally important, for the sciences make life function, and the arts make life worth living. Something like that. (I've not been able to find the quote again.) What's wonderful is that God created them both.

  6. One of my favorite verses on beauty is in Psalm 45:11 ... "The King is enthralled by your beauty."

    The world gives us a false sense of beauty. Oh, that we could see ourselves and one another through the King's eyes. That He finds me beautiful??? It makes me weak in the knees.

    Thank you, Anne, for capturing the beauty of beauty ...

  7. How true! A post of true gem! Tks Anne! Had a crazy 'buzy' December month! Blessed new year to you!

  8. "If we attempt to lure converts with worldly means, the church plays a seductress who cannot sustain a meaningful relationship."

    I really like that line...

    And . . . Truth is beauty...

    Thanks Anne

  9. Jennifer, I love that verse as well. But have you caught this one? "Turn your eyes away from me, For they have overcome me." (Song of Solomon 6:5) Talk about making me weak in the knees! I want to know exactly what we might do to have that effect on our Bridegroom.

    Bible Lover, been plenty busy around here, too. Glad you liked this.

    Russell, good to see that we both walked away from Peter's blog without scratches, still able to give and take nicely here. You're welcome, and thank you, too.


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