This week’s guest post is by Christ Church parishioner Katie Fox, leader of the Faith+Arts Ministry.
Dear Christ Church,
Over the past three weeks we’ve been learning about the “echoes” of God’s presence and work in our world – those divine signposts that point us toward a bigger and truer reality: the longing for justice, the quest for spirituality, and the hunger for relationships. This week we turn to the fourth and final echo: the delight in beauty. I love that beauty is saved for last because I think beauty actually serves as both a signpost to point us toward God and a sort of umbrella that covers all the other echoes as well. For example: when justice is accomplished it is a beautiful thing. When we are in healthy, fruitful relationships, they are beautiful both to experience and to behold. Our quest for spirituality is often inextricably bound up with the kind of desire that C.S. Lewis describes here:
“We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words — to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it”. – The Weight of Glory
Our desire for and delight in beauty is a gift from God, designed to deepen and enrich our human experience and ultimately to point us toward God Himself as the creator of beauty and all good gifts. Here at Christ Church, we love and value beauty and the arts because we recognize them as echoes of God in the world. However, we also understand the creation of beauty to be an important aspect of our calling, a calling that invites us to participate in the redemption of God’s world. Nothing we do here is wasted. As N.T. Wright wrote elsewhere:
“What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future … These activities … are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.”
If the idea of building for God’s kingdom through beauty and the arts stirs something in you, I invite you to explore our Faith+Arts website to learn more about the ways in which we are exploring beauty through artistic expression here at Christ Church. I especially want to highlight theFaith+Arts Intensive. The Intensive is an eight-month intentional community for artists who work in all mediums (visual artists, writers, filmmakers, performing artists, etc). We will meet together each month beginning in September to explore what it means to be an artist who follows Christ in our culture today. Applications are now open, so I invite you to prayerfully consider applying for the 2023-2024 Intensive. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions at [email protected].
May you delight in beauty this week!