Today's Lectionary Text
Psalm 104:12-13By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;
they sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
Faith Practice: Beauty
When God created the earth and humans to dwell in it, God could have left us with the minimum of what we need to survive—basic means of food, water, shelter. Instead, God filled the earth with beauty in the sustaining, replenishing, life-giving systems of nature for all living things. A feast of colors, sounds, aromas, textures and flavors goes beyond meeting our needs to giving us pleasure and delight in our daily experiences.
When we slow down and notice the beauty God has placed around us, it revives our souls and reminds us of God’s care and creative power.
When we eliminate clutter or distractions from our lives, we may also find God has placed beauty in the unexpected—perhaps in a harsh urban landscape, in the softening of an icy relationship, or in the labor of caring for God’s creation.
Furthermore, the practice of noticing beauty encourages us to walk in beauty, by setting our minds on “things above” (Col. 3:2) when anxious or even ugly thoughts threaten to overwhelm us; reflecting the beauty of God in our words, actions, and the work we produce; and inviting the beauty of peace and justice into the darkest corners of our world.
As you go through this day, notice where or how you experience beauty. Reflect on how your experience of beauty changes as you expand your idea of what beauty means. Journal your thoughts or share them on social media to help others be mindful of God’s beauty around them.
--Jayna McFarland, conference social media and web specialist
For more about the spiritual practice of beauty, visit the Center for Spirituality and Practice.
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