Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday by the Sea

"There is a grandeur of the spectacle of the sea itself, as it slips on and off its many colors like robes, and now is all shades of green, now purple, now sky-blue. . . . And all these are mere consolations for us, for us unhappy, punished men: they are not the rewards of the blessed. What can these be like then, if such things here are so many, so great, and of such a quality?" ~ St. Augustine (as quoted in Augustine of Hippo, quoted in The Legacy of Sovereign Joy by John Piper)

For Christian Theology class I have to read the book The Legacy of Sovereign Joy and write a short paper on it. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning last night in order to finish the book, and as I read I came across the quote above and knew it would be beautiful inspiration for a "Sunday by the Sea" post.

Even focusing on just one part of God's creation--the sea--one can only stand in awe at the beauty God has made. And to think, the loveliness we see in this world cannot be compared to the glories of untainted heaven!

It is so unimaginable to us. I am reminded of Stuart in the movie Kate & Leopold when he is trying to explain what he has learned about time. He says something like, "It is as unimaginable as a dog seeing a rainbow. Dogs are color-blind. . . . I'm just a dog who's seen a rainbow, and none of the other dogs believe me."

We, as believers, are like dogs who know there are rainbows out there, even if we can't even comprehend how amazing they are. How could you explain a rainbow to someone who is truly color-blind? Where would you begin to make comparisons? I don't think you can. How much more so is the grandeur of heaven incomparable to what we know!

Here's to a lifetime full of hope for the rainbows we have yet to experience!

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
~Ephesians 3:20-21

(The ocean picture is from PDPhoto.org.)

9 comments:

Amanda said...

What a breathtaking picture! Only the Master Artist could paint colors so vibrant and so pure! From the sky, to the water, to the sand it is all one continuous flow of beauty. God is so good :)

And, speaking of a continuous flow of beauty :) Once again, my friend, you have blessed us with a beautiful, inspiring post! Thank you for sharing the gems of truth the Lord reveals to your heart. We can't fathom what the Lord has in store for them that love Him! Like your posts suggests- There is such breathtaking, awe-inspiring, majestic wonder all around us HERE on a corruptible earth... what in creation is awaiting us in incorruptible heaven?! Thank you for some powerful truths to ponder. Truths that only drive home the fact that we serve a mighty, mighty God!

And, that book sounds so great! Makes doing homework a lot easier, huh? ;) I've heard of John Piper but haven't read anything by him yet. Maybe, if you wanted to of course, you could share that short paper with us? I would love to hear your thoughts on the book :)

Looking forward to tomorrows post!! Oh, and be expecting an email from me shortly ;)

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

PS- I just want to thank you and tell you I really appreciate that you always use the KJV when you quote scripture :)

Julia M. Reffner said...

Amber,

I agree. Thank you for being obedient and sharing these wonderful posts with us. What a majestic picture. And what a wonderful quote from Augustine. I love John Piper. Although I never quite finished Desiring God. Need to get back to it. It had so much depth to it I could only read it in very small chunks and then somehow the book ended up misplaced.

I, too, appreciate you using the KJV. I almost always use it, too, although I'm not a KJV only-ist (or whatever the word is).

Amanda,

Though you don't keep a blog, I'm often struck by the fact that your comments could be devotions. This one is for me. Thanks again :)

Amanda said...

Awww, thank you so much, Julia :) I'm always blessed by your comments as well, my friend, and was actually thinking of you as I read this post- I thought the name of your blog and the scripture it comes from captures it perfectly! Our eyes can now only see through a glass darkly, but one day we will clearly behold the face of our King and all the glory He has prepared for His bride! Can you imagine if when we get to heaven He allows us to behold how He created the ocean, or the whole earth and the fullness thereof, for that matter?! It would be amazing to see the week of creation! Gosh, we don't know what He has in store for us, but like the scripture says (and you know it well ;)) "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I cam known." (1Corinthians 13:12)

God is good! Thanks again, Julia :)

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amanda said...

"Am known" NOT "cam known"! Apparently I don't know it that well ;) LOL, it's late here, please forgive me :)

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Julia M. Reffner said...

I have to be honest, I didn't make that tie-in, but reading it again I see what you mean about this tying in with the Scripture in 1 Corinthians. I love how God ties it all in together :)

Ariel said...

So beautiful Amber :)

P.S. It was SO GREAT seeing you today!!! Thanks for chatting for a bit :) I have missed you!

Vince said...

Hi Amber:

‘Sunday by the Sea’ is my favorite!

I love the picture.

St. Augustine was a great admirer of Plato and he set Christianity in a Platonic mode where it stayed until St. Thomas Aquinas made a switch to Aristotle. If you have not read Plato’s allegory of the cave (like your rainbow story), you are in for a treat. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave .

Perhaps this will help with your theology assignment.

There is a famous quote about the KJV that I always liked but I can’t remember who said it. It goes like this: “I don’t know if the Bible was divinely inspired but the King James translation definitely was.”

Vince

Amanda said...

Vince, I LOVE that quote!!
Thank you for sharing it :)

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amber S. said...

Wow! There is some great discussion going on here! :D I'm only sorry that I missed being in the midst of it (probably due to the fact that I stayed up late working on the paper I mentioned in the post!). ;)

AMANDA: Isn't that picture beautiful? God's creation is stunning, and I love just looking at the sea when I get a chance. :)

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I'm so glad that these posts encourage you. I love writing them and pondering the hope we have in the Lord. :)

And yes--homework is "easier" when you enjoy what you're reading! ;) I read a book by Piper last semester for my Global Perspectives class (called Don't Waste Your Life), and I later bought one of his devotional books called Life as a Vapor (which was really powerful and thought-provoking!). If you want I could e-mail you a copy of my paper, which I just turned in this morning. It had to follow a certain format, so it's not exactly like my other reviews. ;) But I feel kind of bad because I love MLA citations (which is what I used, since there was only one source!), but I think I was supposed to use footnotes (I was being a bit of a rebel), so I hope I don't lose too many points for that...

Anyway, I've fallen in love with the KJV, so I'm glad it doesn't bother you that I use it all the time! :)

JULIA: Thank you! I really like John Piper's work (what I've read so far), as well, and I thought that quote from Augustine was so fitting. :)

And aren't Amanda's comments as beautiful and insightful as any post on blogs we read? :D She truly does have a gift for writing and encouraging.

AMANDA & JULIA: I love how God ties things together, too! :) Thank you for sharing that connection you spotted between this post and Julia's blog with us, Amanda! Love your blog and the title, Julia. :)

ARIEL: Awwww, I'm glad you liked the post. :) And it was great to see you yesterday, too!!! Thank YOU so much for stopping by! :D

It's funny, but keeping up with blogging makes it seem like we "see" each other rather frequently. ;) Glad I could see you in person again, though! Miss you, too!

VINCE: That means so much to me. :) Thank you! I've been so surprised and blessed by everyone's responses to these posts.

And actually, I have heard of the "Allegory of the Cave." If I remember correctly, I learned about it in my high school philosophy class (called "Theory of Knowledge"). :) It's been interesting learning more about Plato in my Literary Criticism class, as well.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

~Amber