Tuesday Thoughts 12-08-09

“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature…” -Hebrews 1:3a

I love reading Hebrews 1.  When I’m apathetic, I turn there to remember who Jesus is: One valued above humanity and angels and all created things.  The ESV gives this chapter the title, “The Supremacy of God’s Son” and reading it reminds me that no one else is so excellent, so worthy.  He is the perfect representation of who God is.

I appreciate beauty.  Perhaps that’s a bit of an understatement but I truly do enjoy beautiful things.  I imagine my family nodding in agreement as they think of the way I rearrange my belongings.  I am constantly “updating” my environment by moving furniture, changing curtains, taking photographs and acquiring new plants in an effort to make it more appealing.  Former roommates remember twinkle lights, my need for fresh flowers and candles everywhere.  Art museums, wind-chimes and silk are things that I wouldn’t want to live without.

I can be indulgent.  And selfish.  I’m willing to admit that part of my fascination with pretty things arises out of my own pursuit of pleasure.  I am still human, still growing in holiness and still learning how to live righteously. Rarely do I encounter beauty without being tempted to worship it but I think my fascination with pretty things is more than that.  

HE is beautiful.  The perfection and holiness of Jesus defines beauty.  There is nothing really good or really lovely that exists apart from Him.  He created the visible beauty that I encounter.  He imagined every sunset and (like Hebrews says) He enables each one by His word.  He is both the definition and the never-wanting source.

The small, fleeting beauty of my day calls forth the highest and best of my heart’s affection.  As a believer filled with His Spirit, it takes me beyond appreciation of the object to praise of the Glorious One.  The little things that stop me in my tracks, such as the lights on the Christmas tree or the smile on my mother’s face, invite me to wonder at infinite beauty.  We were made to worship.  To love.  To wonder.

As I type, I’ve been watching the tree ornaments glitter and advent candles flicker and all that I can think is, “He is the radiance of His glory…”  How wonderful that the Father reveals Himself in the Son!  How marvelous that the Son lived and dwelt among us!  And the cross!  How beautiful His mercy is to me!  The wonder and admiration of my heart- awakened by glass and wax and light- are fully captivated by the person of Jesus.  I’d love to go on, as my advent readings have me enraptured but I’ll refrain.  I’ll just leave you with the words to one of my favorite hymns that I’ve been humming all day:

Let us love and sing and wonder,
Let us praise the Savior’s Name!
He has hushed the law’s loud thunder,
He has quenched Mount Sinai’s flame.
He has washed us with His blood,
He has brought us nigh to God.

Let us love the Lord Who bought us,
Pitied us when enemies,
Called us by His grace, and taught us,
Gave us ears and gave us eyes:
He has washed us with His blood,
He presents our souls to God.

Let us sing, though fierce temptation
Threaten hard to bear us down!
For the Lord, our strong Salvation,
Holds in view the conqueror’s crown:
He Who washed us with His blood
Soon will bring us home to God.

Let us wonder; grace and justice
Join and point to mercy’s store;
When through grace in Christ our trust is,
Justice smiles and asks no more:
He Who washed us with His blood
Has secured our way to God.

Let us praise, and join the chorus
Of the saints enthroned on high;
Here they trusted Him before us,
Now their praises fill the sky:
“Thou hast washed us with Your blood;
Thou art worthy, Lamb of God!’

Hark! the Name of Jesus, sounded
Loud, from golden harps above!
Lord, we blush, and are confounded,
Faint our praises, cold our love!
Wash our souls and songs with blood,
For by Thee we come to God.
-John Newton

He is the loveliest thought to me.

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