Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Simple, Holy, Beauty

   Some of the flowers in the yard of our neighbors, Bonnie and Herb, have bloomed this week, sending a bright and yellow explosion of color as far as the eye can see them. They are beautiful in their simplicity. For this boy raised in the South, they also seem a little early. None of us can blame them, though, as this has been quite an extra-ordinary winter?
   Flowers in full bloom are, in their own way, singing a song of praise to the One who planted them and caused them to grow. The Scriptures, on a couple of occasions, make it clear that God has an agenda about God's own praise and glory and if humans are not going to live into the agenda God can cause the natural world around us to pitch in. Consider these:
  • In Luke 19, when some of the Pharisees from the crowd wanted Jesus to reprimand his followers about singing Jesus praise and said, “Teacher, scold your disciples! Tell them to stop!” he answered, “I tell you, if they were silent, the stones would shout.”
  • Psalm 19 says, "Heaven is declaring God’s glory; the sky is proclaiming his handiwork. One day gushes the news to the next, and one night informs another what needs to be known. Of course, there’s no speech, no words - their voices can’t be heard - but their sound extends throughout the world; their words reach the ends of the earth.
If God has placed within nature the very substance needed to sing praise, how much more should we, considering that we are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26)?
   I think the purpose of the Season of Lent is to clear our minds and focus our hearts in order that we might return to a life of living out the praise of God. I love this prayer in my devotional book for this week that asks "that some beauty of holiness may appear in us." May the God who brings forth beauty in the simplest ways, also bring forth a simple, holy beauty from our lives, as well.
   Grace and peace, Scott

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