|THE JOYFUL NOISE
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind…
For the Beauty
The scripture from Job reminds us of God’s creation and the natural beauty that surrounds us. Many of us connect with God through natural beauty. My dad was such a person. We never went to church as a family; instead, we hunted on Sundays. Later in life, when I became a Christian, I decided to ask him if he believed in God. His response was, “The closest I come is when I am out in the woods or walking along an ocean shore. I feel like that is God.” His closest connection to the creator came through nature. He would be on a mountaintop looking out at the vastness and be overwhelmed by something greater than himself. The natural world is God’s creation and we experience God through the beauty of nature.
We get this and that is part of the reason people choose to live here and in other places in the west. That’s why real estate prices for homes with mountain views run higher than those that don’t have them. People want to look out at something beautiful. It renews them. We have new friends who moved to Denver from Tulsa recently. They looked for a house and bought one that looked out over Stanley Lake (Denver area) and to the Rocky Mountains. They were thrilled to get the home because it had a view. It brings them great joy to sit and look out at the natural beauty. These examples remind us of why we need beauty in our lives.
A Chicago street artist named Theaster Gates gave a Ted talk on reviving inner city neighborhoods. Gates asked a simple question of his audience, “What are the basic things you need every day?” Then Gates suggested that we add another item to that list. Beauty. Gates lives in a rough neighborhood in Chicago with run down buildings, a world of concrete and steel. He observed that when people live in places where there is no beauty, life is less joyful. People are more fearful and less happy. He asserts that people thirst for beauty and when they have beauty in their daily lives, they are more able to find contentment, joy, and happiness. It changes how we interact with places and people.
Gates set out to bring beauty into this inner city neighborhood through art - graffiti and painting. He wanted to give people who live in his community something important, something they needed - beauty.
We have all heard the phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” It suggests that experiencing beauty has to do with a state of mind and how we look at the world. In other words, we project beauty out onto the world from the inside. What we are viewing is beautiful, but it is our inner construction of beauty that actually gives us the warm, awesome experience, not the mountains themselves. In other words, the beauty is inside of us and what we see out here is a reflection of what’s going on the inside. God gives us the ability to identify beauty in his creation in the same way David recognizes God when he wrote his psalms.
I remember growing up in Idaho where two big rivers merged, the Snake and the Clearwater. I used to drive up the Snake River as a teenager, to find peace and get away from my troubles. I would hike up one of the ridges in the evening and watch the sun go down on the grassy, rocky ridges that jutted almost straight up from the rushing river. I needed to experience beauty and I found it here. It was particularly meaningful because I had such a tumultuous childhood. God was in that scenery, calming me and giving me rest. For all these years since, I thought I would have to go back there in order to have that experience again. But when I took Claire back up through Idaho on our way to Seattle, I once again entered into that ecstasy of beauty as I saw those mountains. I wished I could have that feeling with me always, and then God spoke to me and said I can. I can because the source of what I was experiencing was inside of me, not in what I was looking at!
It was a powerful realization for me to know that the beauty I was looking at came from inside of me and it could be there any time I felt a need to call it up. I found that realization to be very calming, very hopeful. That beauty was right here inside of me.
When David wrote about God’s beauty in Psalms, he was calling up his experience, bringing it back into his consciousness in poetry and music.
Our problem today is that we spend too little time experiencing beauty. The world presses in on us and tells us our value is found only in what we produce, our work, commerce, things we can measure. We get caught up in daily life and become robots, measuring everything in terms of productivity. We forget about what it means to be in the moment, enjoying beauty.
This week stop and think about the importance of beauty in your life. Stop and think about where you find it and go retrieve it again. Choose to return to that true beauty that is inside and outside of you. Finally, when you looked in the mirror in the morning, look beyond the wrinkles. See more than the flaws. See something beautiful.
Grace and peace,
IN OUR THOUGHTS AND IN OUR PRAYERS:
OCTOBER UPCOMING EVENTS
October 2nd: 9:30-11:00 a.m. Project Patricia
October 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st: 9:30-11:30 Labor of Love
October 11th: 12:00 p.m. UMW carry-in lunch, Fellowship Hall
October 20th: 8:00 a.m. Monthly breakfasts
October 21st: Pledges Due
October 24th: 5:00-7:00 p.m. Potato Bar Supper
Pastor’s scheduled Seventh Week-off Dates
CHURCH VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
A WAY OF LIVING
October is stewardship month. Our theme is ‘Live Generously’. Please be in prayer
Scripture reminds us to give freely and we hope you will join us in being generous
We ask that you prayerfully consider how you may live more generously for the
Our church family values your time, talents and treasures; we thank you for
Please remember to have your pledge cards in the offering plate or returned to the
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
To achieve this goal, they need a floor plan or at least a footprint of each
The UMW group held the business meeting once Dan left the building. We heard the
The Funeral Committee Co-Chairs, Carolyn and Ann, reported on the two funeral
Rowann reported that the Project Patricia group met on Sept. 4. They sorted
Rowann also told us the Project Patricia organization would appreciate donations
UMW discussed our plans to offer a potato bar fund raiser on October 24, from 5
All ladies of the church are invited to attend any of these events. We need all the
WUMC 125th ANNIVERSARY 2019