Vicar’s Reflection: Advent 2, 9th December 2018
A phrase ‘the beauty of holiness’ came to mind at our Advent Carol service last Sunday evening. It’s from 1 Chronicles 16:29 “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” When we bring our offerings of praise to God in the simple format of readings, music and artwork there is a dignified and splendid beauty found nowhere else. Thanks to Elizabeth Pilaar, members of the Choir; the Music Group; singers, readers and organist who made the service so special. We can look forward to another similar service on Sunday 16 December at 7pm with 9 Lessons & Carols. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ some would say, but scientists now know that beauty is more than a subjective response to what we like. Beauty has a basis in symmetry, order, connection and purpose. Researchers have discovered that physical beauty in humans and animals relates to reproductive fitness and survival. Order and purpose give clarity and directness. St Paul urged worshippers to do all things ‘decently and in order’ 1 Corinthians 14:40 so that purpose and beauty are evident. True also when there are clear connections such as when a reading is connected to a song; to an illustration; to a way of life. Most importantly the beauty of holiness is to be found in lives and communities dedicated to God; when people relate with care, love and respect, accepting differences yet serving God together. This kind of holiness creates a beauty that endures forever.