Saturday 2 April 2016

#AtoZchallenge: Beauty

Psalm 29:2 and Psalm 96:6 both mention worshipping God in the beauty of holiness. This can mean many things - it's been talked about as "holy garments" or that God's holiness is beautiful, or there is beauty in holiness. Gill's exposition says:
“... in true holiness, in which there is a real beauty: holiness is the beauty of God Himself, He is glorious in it; it is the beauty of angels, it makes them so glorious as they are; and it is the beauty of saints, it is what makes them like unto Christ, and by which they are partakers of the divine nature...”
Which is all very well and very theological, but I want you to stop and linger on the word beauty.

The ancient church used to understand beauty. Europe is littered with grand cathedrals. A majority of artwork in that era (other than portraits) were commissioned by the church or were religious-based. The church pursued the arts; it pursued the creation and the maintenance of beauty (besides showing off that they had money).

Somehow, we’ve lost that. The modern church thinks in terms of practicality, functionality and convenience. We’ve moved from beautiful, majestic churches full of artwork and stained glass windows into squat warehouses and shop lots. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s practical and cheaper. But it often shuts off our faith from our senses.

Yet beauty is an important thing. It’s what attracts people. It’s what pulls people in and gains their attention. It’s what makes them stop, stare, and hopefully ponder a little more. The gospel is beautiful. God is beautiful. So the worship of our beautiful God needs to be beautiful.

What is beautiful to one congregation varies by their demographics. Older congregations find hymns beautiful. Younger congregations love the repetition of choruses in the way the music swells and builds. Older congregations like bright spaces, younger congregations like the anonymity of dim lights in their worship. But what you need to keep in mind is that a worship song set is an art form in itself. It’s not a list of songs that you cobble together any old how, but something that you work on with love and care, looking at the words of the songs, the ebb and flow of worship and the lows and the peaks of the music, allowing God to show you His beauty as you worship Him in song.


Are you an A to Z blogger? Send me a message on my facebook page or twitter with your blog name and number and I will send you a coupon to get Coexist on Smashwords for only $0.99!

About the book:

Jane Hays has been told all her life that it’s dangerous to be out in the forest past sundown. At fifteen, she’s quite sure that it’s all old wives’ tales... yet, why does her village bar the gates every night? Why do they even have gates? When she is caught in an unexpected rainstorm on her way home, Jane ignores all the warnings and seeks shelter in a cottage in the middle of the forest. Soon, she is caught up in a world of magic and beauty – and in the storm of the Fairy Queen’s wrath.

The Fairy Queen is out for blood. There have been intruders - human intruders  - in her domain and she will stop at nothing to find them and kill them. After all, it is only fair. She is only seeking retribution for the death that humans leave in their wake.

But Jane isn’t all that she seems to be. And the events of the night aren’t as innocent as they appear.

A tale of magic, fairy creatures and family, Coexist is a novella for the young and the young-at-heart.

Get Coexist on Amazon or Smashwords. Check out Book Depository or Createspace for paperbacks!


Today's tour stop is at Rebekah's, where I talk about fantasy and our view of the world!



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  1. There is intricacy is selecting a set of songs to sing for worship indeed :)


  2. Visiting as we begin the #Challenge. It is spring in North Carolina and the word beauty describes my garden as it comes back to life. If you have an interest in hotels and inns, join me for some arm chair travel. Hope to see you.

  3. Excellent message. So often our modern perceptions of beauty are so shallow.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  4. Our Minister of Music does and excellent job of mixing and blending and finding the hymns, songs and choruses that please all the membership of our church! To me, when I think of the beauty of holiness, I think of that glow that steady, strong, faithful Christians come to have about them. No matter how they look, they always seem beautiful to look upon. And you always go away from them feeling lifted.

    Revisit the Tender Years with me during the #AtoZChallenge at Life & Faith in Caneyhead!

    1. That's a wonderful view of the beauty of holiness, Barbara! :)