Advent – can you believe it!?!
This year is flying!! Thank you to those of you who came and helped with Martine’s Memorial Service. It was a beautiful day and a true blessing to meet her family and friends. Boy, was she an interesting lady! But more importantly, she was a true testimony to the love and shepherding care of many in the congregation. She knew Jesus personally because of you! Praise God! Amazing!
At her Memorial Service, I shared two charges. The first, for those who are able, to hold space for peace. The second charge was to be a “beauty hunter.” I shared that Martine was a beauty hunter. The nice thing about such a charge is that even in the midst of difficulty, it is possible to keep an eye out for beauty. I have been told that several people have been on a hunt for beauty since then, and that is lovely.
However, in my preparation for our message this weekend, I was convicted that beholding beauty in and of itself is not the goal. Sure, it is a helpful balm in grief, but beauty is intended to be a window to the Divine. C.S. Lewis captures this truth in The Weight of Glory: “These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
So, here is a friendly advent admonishment: Look beyond the lights. Look beyond the beauty of the freshly fallen snow. Admire the flames of the fire and then ask: Who gave them the characteristics that cause them to dance? Who makes the wind blow them as it does?
Beauty is good. But the Beauty Maker? The Beauty Restorer? The Beauty from Ashes One? That is the One worthy of our worship.
Joining you in worship,