• AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Culture, Theology

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
    (Philippians 4:8)

    I once took a class in undergrad called “Beauty and the Christian Life.”  It really was an eye opening class in many ways, because it was about the importance of finding and implementing beauty in life.  Good art (as opposed to kitsch) and good music are needed in life, and those domains should not be left out of our lives for purely utilitarian reasons.  Since God is the source of beauty, people who follow him should also thrive in that area.

    Looking back at the Old Testament times, when the tabernacle and temple were made, the instructions were filled with beauty elements.  Did you ever notice that?  They were filled with good things- colors, precious metals, and ornate designs.  

    Worship in ancient Israel would have been a holistic olfactory one, with smells, sights, and sounds all assisting in the worship of the True God.  For the ancient people of God, it was not enough to go into a sparsely furnished warehouse building to sing praises to God.  No, the people of God needed beauty when the world turned out to be so darn ugly.

    There are so many loud noises that encompass modern life in America.  Car engines, cell phone chatting, and those incredibly annoying TVs on gas pumps.  Something I have noticed is that there is not a lot of room sometimes to find beauty and to find quiet, those things need to be fought for in a chaotic world.  (Sometimes when one of those “cool guys” pull up to the traffic light blasting their music, I’ll turn on a Mozart CD and crank up the sound.  So far my strategy has not worked, but hopefully they’ll learn to either turn down their noise or learn to appreciate good music!)

    Yes, beauty needs to be fought for in times of chaos.  Beauty also needs to be noticed in busy times.  Flowers, birds, and sunsets will always be there.  Even in urban and suburban settings, there is bound to be beauty and there is bound to be things that are lovely.

    I hope you find beauty today in your daily routines.  If not, go out an look for it!