Beauty

Matthew 21:12-22

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Beauty is a funny thing. So much of it as goes the old saying is in the “eye of the beholder.”

In a world of Photoshop and plastic surgery our ideals of what beauty is can be unrealistic even to the point of not understanding what that word means.

As I wrote that last line, I got to thinking… what exactly is beauty? Well, doesn’t that sound overly philosophical! What I am after here is how is beauty generally defined.  Well, Dicitonary.com defines the word this way “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).” 

Interesting, it seems beauty is more in the mind rather than the eye of the beholder. beauty Now this conversation could go in a thousand directions, but to pull on one strand, let us use today’s reading from Matthew to see what we might see that is beautiful here.

On the surface, a reading about Jesus cleansing the temple, healing the sick, and cursing a fig tree doesn’t seem to have much to do with beauty. Ok, the fig tree leaves me wondering many things, and I have no idea how to connect that,  but if we understand that beauty is much more about relationship, there is something very beautiful here.  I am reminded of a verse from the Old Testament: “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. – Isaiah 40: 8

Jesus is on his way to the cross, an ugly thing if there ever was one, and through it he does this beautiful thing for all of creation.  In a world of falseness and ever changing styles and ideas of what beauty is, the true beauty of God’s grace and mercy never fade, and Gods love will never wither.

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