“Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.”
You know. Sweaters. Mugs of hot tea and cocoa. Shorter days, cooler nights. Frost.
And glorious beauty!
It snowed last night and we’ve had heavy enough frosts that all the glory is gone for another year. But my heart needs to take another look at all that autumn glory, to remind myself of all that beauty. When the weather changes and the reality of winter looms large, we need to hold tight to beauty.
So here is a picture of fall fashion at its height to carry us into the season of cold, damp, and dark.
Let me remind you with this image of garden glory that when our hearts seek out beauty, search for the light in the darkness, and try to make sense of the senseless, it is God’s beauty we really hunger for.
We may think of Him as big. Powerful perhaps. Maybe we see Him as unreachable or distant. Many of us know He is good and kind and generous.
It’s an interesting way to think of God, yes?
Look at the characteristics mentioned in this verse from Psalm 96.
“Honour and majesty surround Him”. Honour means to be worthy of ‘great esteem and high respect’, to quote the dictionary. Majesty is ‘impressive stateliness, dignity, or beauty’. I can imagine a big royal cape with a long train sewn out of the esteem of angels completely glowing with dignity and beauty. There is nothing false here. No impurity. Nothing to question, no doubt to His right to rule. And it is God’s character, His very self, that decorated the space around Him with such glory.
“Strength and beauty fill His sanctuary”. Absolute power. The kind that holds planets in place and keeps the sun from spinning out of control. The kind that tells the geese when to migrate and breathes life into a pile of cells.
Strength we get. Power, we understand.
It’s hard even for an imaginative brain like mine to invent what God might look like. And the Bible is maddeningly silent on the subject.
But I’ve seen beauty.
I see it in the way sun strikes a blade of spring grass. I see it in the smile of a child delighted at the antics of a kitten. I see it in the way the mountains loom over a crystal clear lake.
And I see it in fall fashion!
Every single beautiful thing you’ve ever seen had it’s origin in the mind of God Himself.
A mind that has mastered every language, designed the Grand Canyon and the Alps, invented puppies, and handcrafted love itself – well, that mind simply has to be beautiful beyond belief.
And because what He does is inseparable from who He is, God is beautiful.
The next time you catch sight of some fall fashion, or something to delight the senses and bring a bounce to your step, stop and remember.
That joy, that power, that glory is a teeny weeny reflection of the glory of God Himself.
Add beauty to the list of God’s characteristics with me?
Father, we don’t often consider this facet of Your personality. Help us to treasure up the beauty we see in Your creation and connect it deeply to who You are as a Being. Help us to associate beauty wherever we see it with You! Amen.