Christ Altogether Lovely III


from "Christ Altogether Lovely"
John Flavel

Thirdly "Altogether lovely," i.e. He embraces all things that are lovely: he seals up the sum of all loveliness. Things that shine as single stars with a particular glory, all meet in Christ as a glorious constellation. Col. 1:19, "It pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell." Cast your eyes among all created beings, survey the universe: you will observe strength in one, beauty in a second, faithfulness in a third, wisdom in a fourth; but you shall find none excelling in them all as Christ does. Bread has one quality, water another, raiment another, medicine another; but none has them all in itself as Christ does. He is bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, a garment to the naked, healing to the wounded; and whatever a soul can desire is found in him, 1 Cor. 1:30.

There is nothing new here. But it helps to think each day about the perfections of Jesus Christ. It gives rise to springs of living water within us. I'm sure many Catholic Saints wrote as evocatively, or perhaps even more evocatively--but few as sustainedly one the single topic of the Beauty of Jesus Christ.

Through Him all things came to be and from Him all things have their perfection of form. A cardinal is a cardinal (bird) because of Him and it differs from a robin because of Him. Herons have their stilty legs, and butterflies their wings because of Him. Through him the frogs and the alligators have their voice, the hibiscus has its blossom, and the palm tree sways in the wind.

In Him the waves break on the shore, filling the air with the smell of salt and sea, the sandpipers dance in the ebb and flow, and the coquina continue their daily chore of keeping up with the ever moving tide.

Everything that is beautiful, all that is, reflects in some way the perfection of the creator, and in the creator is gathered all the loveliness of all created things and more. When we think of awe-inspiringly beautiful things--, the ghost orchid, , appendicularians,, the blue morpho butterfly or the blue-ringed octopus--we see in them a small fraction of the beauty of Christ. Every part of creation partakes of the beauty of the Creator, but in no way does all the combined beauty of creation approach the altogether loveliness of Jesus Christ, whose perfection of love and goodness opens up the perfection of beauty.

Spend a few moments this morning with the beauty of Christ. Revel in it, and bring it into the day to share with all around you. It is far more persausive than any human argument--it convinces to the marrow and convicts beyond question. Many people resist it, but they cannot do so for long. Introduce the unconvinced to the perfection of God in all of His creation, and then invite them into the Word to discover from whence this perfection.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 4, 2003 7:54 AM.

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On the Church's Teaching Regarding Homosexuality is the next entry in this blog.

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