Beauty: Changing Lenses

Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it. - Confucius

Over the years, the concept of beauty has surfaced for us at Trinity. We have been questioning the lens through which we view our world. Many of us have been shaped to see the world through a lens of brokenness; this is not the lens through which God first sees the world.

In order to wade through difficult concepts in Scripture, embrace and value diversity within our community of believers, and understand how we are to interact as followers of Jesus in the world, we need to change our lenses. The fundamental truth of this world is that it is good and beautiful.  And while it is true there is brokenness in this world, that brokenness does not erase the beauty of God’s creation.

This series on beauty will hopefully give us a starting point from which to begin to shift the way we see both God and the world, as well as understanding our place in the story of God, giving us a radically different perspective on what it means to follow Jesus.


Topics

You may also listen through the Trinity Church Broad Ripple Podcast or click over to the Teachings page.

September 9: God is Beauty (Psalm 27)

September 16: A Beautiful World (Genesis 1)

September 23: Beauty and Ecclesiology (Mark 11 and Jeremiah 11)

September 30: Beauty: What Which Endures (Leviticus 23)

October 7: Beauty and Worship (Exodus 31)

October 14: Beauty and Eschatology: The Streets of Gold (Revelation 21)

October 21: Beauty and Justice/Shalom (Isaiah 11 & Psalm 101)

October 28: Beauty and the Gospel (Isaiah 52 & Romans 12)

November 4: Beauty and Salvation (Zechariah 9)

November 11: Sheer Poetry and the Blank Canvas (Ephesians 2)

November 18: Beauty and Kairos (Ecclesiastes 3)

*From time to time we may need to switch things up in the series, but this will give you a good picture of where we're going. 


Discussion Prompts

-Identify the ways in which God has always showed up as beauty in your life.

-By looking at God and the world through a lens of beauty, what might you need to shed in order to grow in your faith journey?

-In what ways do you see the Spirit moving among us at Trinity toward that which is beautiful?

-Discuss the relationship between the good news (gospel) and beauty and the challenges we face in our world today.  

-In your walk with Jesus, what new experiences of beauty are popping up?

-What might you need to adjust in your life, or what practice might you need to take up, in order to regularly become more aware of beauty?

-In what ways do you sense the Spirit moving you toward justice or shalom?


Resources

*As with any resource, nothing is perfect. There will be things in these resources that may or may not reflect where we are at individually or as a community. May they provide more food for thought, spark further conversation, and deeper growth.

Books:

The Good and Beautiful God - James Bryan Smith

Beauty Will Save the World - Brian Zahnd

The Artist’s Way - Julia Cameron

The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen - Lisa Gungor

Awaken Your Senses - Brent Bill and Beth Booram

Mary Oliver poetry

Podcasts:

The On Being Podcasts on beauty, particularly the episode with John O’Donohue

Articles:

Walk in Beauty - Richard Rohr