Orthodoxy and Beauty
Orthodoxy and beauty are inseparable. Orthodox Christianity attracted me from my very first encounter with the magnificence of its churches and the grandeur of her divine services. Having grown up amid the natural beauty of northern Idaho, with mountains and lakes that could take your breath away, I’d previously found inspiration primarily in the world of nature.
Orthodoxy and beauty are inseparable because God and beauty are inseparable. The beauty of a sunset is a reflection of our Creator, just as is the interior of a temple as it reflects our experience with this Creator God. We humans were formed as physical beings, placed in a material world and invited to commune with our Creator. The majesty and beauty of the created world inspires us to an awareness of God’s presence.
A bouquet of flowers placed in our icon corner has an internal effect on us. Created in God’s image, we in turn become creators. The beauty that comes from the artist’s brush or the poet’s voice is an act of a creator. Taking our creative instincts into the realm of the spiritual unites us with God and connects us to the eternal. This is why an artist or a poet can experience the eternal when creating something of beauty.
God is the Creator of heaven and earth and is present through his creative energies. The material world, being good, is an important means through which God expresses himself. It is through God’s created beauty that we are drawn into a relationship that is meant to be eternal and through which divine revelation can transform our nature. When creation is completed and the created is united to the Creator, then we have a completion of that which God intended.