Our Summer series: Beguiled by Beauty—begins 6-7-2020
One thing I ask of you, [Divine Goodness],
one thing I seek:
that I may dwell in your house all the days of my life, to gaze on your beauty and to meditate in your Temple.
– Psalm 27:4 (Inclusive Bible)
An early 6th century theologian described God as “beguiled by beauty.”
The Creator was lured by a longing for beauty and so set in motion a world of immense diversity and goodness. We were made for this Divine Goodness.We were made inherently worthy, not by our “doing,” but by our simply being.
All things are beautiful–not by a standard of “pretty” as seen by our eyes, but by an essence of sacred worth that is sensed by the spirit.This is the root and heart of compassion and justice.
Practices of contemplation help us train our gaze to these deeper truths. In this worship series we will dwell with the God of Divine Goodness, deeply in love with us, and practice ways to return that love as we fall more deeply in love with creation and with one another.
Scriptures and Synopses
All quoted fragments in the synopses are from Dr. Farley’s work: Beguiled By Beauty, Cultivating a Life of Contemplation & Compassion
Week 1: Beauty, Contemplation, and Radical Compassion
Synopsis: All things are beautiful–not by a standard of “pretty” as seen by our eyes, but by an essence of sacred worth that is sensed by the spirit. This is the root and heart of compassion and justice. Beauty is the threshold to Divine Goodness and a door into radical compassion. “The difficulty and crisis of the world is overwhelming. It is virtually impossible to bear it without very deep resources. A life of prayer does not take us out of life but deeper into it.” We pursue a contemplative life to intensify spiritual capacities so that we might live as Beloveds of God who extend Goodness in the world.
Scripture: Ezekiel 31: 3-7 (Inclusive Bible)
Look to Assyria, once a Lebanon cedar
beautiful branches, dense shade, towering height; its top among the clouds.
Springs nourished it,
and deep waters made it grow tall;
their streams flowed around its base,
sending their channels to all the trees in the countryside…
It was majestic in its beauty with its spreading boughs,
its roots reaching deeply into an abundance of water.