Sheets of Light – The Beautiful Layers of Christ

Beauty is pulling us by the very fabric of our souls into something beyond ourselves. Heavens instruments are being tuned as we hear the faint yet evocative first notes of creations-re-creations symphony. The hand of beauty draws his bow across the taunt strings of time diffusing the fragrance of worship, releasing an invitation to dance impossible to ignore. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a good dancer but when I dance I feel closer to God then in any other form of worship. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “The Trinitarian God is not a static thing, not even a single person, but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life… Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance.”[1] Imagine, God himself being a dance. The interplay of fiery love resounding in the heart of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in irresistible rhythm and harmony for all eternity swirling about in the ecstatic joy of an unbreakable intimacy. All the while calling your name to take your place in the cosmic blaze!

To that we have been called!? Eros directing and forming our love into agape. Telos, the end or summation of our lives, found in the reunion with the beautiful. Theosis “… becoming beautiful in the way that God is beautiful” made, as it were into the image of Christ with no further need for veils or masks or forms.[2] Enveloped into the reality behind the forms, wherein forms are fragments and “…every such fragment reverberates with infinity, and signals in its way the totality that remains veiled and transcendent—arousing an eros for “something more”; for infinity.”[3]

What George MacDonald described as the “show of things.” He wrote, “Their show is the face of the deeper things then they…It is through their show, not their analysis, that we enter into their deepest truths.”[4] If Jesus is the icon of the God-man and there exists a deeper reality then what is seen in his radiant face then only the dance will reveal the truth. Sheets of light cast upon light with myriad layers of brilliance, sights and sounds of inestimable wonder forming a reflective surface like water where all shadows retreat before Christ, the image (icon) of the invisible God (Col. 1:15) revealed so we can see that, “… the visible humanity of Christ is the icon of his invisible divinity.”[5] To see Christ in this Taboric light is to begin to perceive cosmos in chaos and rightly directed eros formative in the logos and Christ himself as architect and assumption, the journey and the destination, the beginning and the end and all points in-between.

The Greek word kalokagathic conveys this meaning well. This is where, “… the Beautiful and the Good are united into one single word which designates the place where we encounter Truth.”[6] As St. Paul put it, For God, who said, “ Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6) His luminosity is the beacon to our wayward hearts in this shipwrecked world and once our troubled vessels have found their port in him, then what? Why all this courting and wooing and dancing if not for some great consummation. Perhaps C.S. Lewis answers this best,

“You must realize from the outset that the goal towards which [God] is beginning to guide you is absolute perfection; and no power in the whole universe, except you yourself, can prevent Him from taking you to that goal … If we let Him- for we can prevent Him, if we choose- He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love we cannot now imagine.”[7]


[1] Chris Jensen, Shine as the Sun: C.S. Lewis and the Doctrine of Deification (Bb) accessed 7.20.12.

 

[2] Prof. Horton-Parker Lecture (Bb).

 

[3] Ibid.

 

[4] Peter Schakel, The Longing for a Form: Essays on the Fiction of C.S. Lewis (Grand Rapids: Baker Book, 1977), 139.

 

[5] Paul Evdokimov, The Art of the Icon: A Theology of Beauty (Bb), 183.

 

[6] Ibid.

 

[7] Jensen.

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