You experience the world through your senses. Beauty is pleasing to the senses.
- What are your favourite sights, sounds, tastes, smells and textures?
- Look around your home, your neighbourhood, your church and your work place. What is pleasing to your senses? What could be better? How could you help?
- Who experiences your work? Do you know what that experience is like for them? Ask them, if you can. What would make that experience more pleasant for them?
- Does anyone in your local church work in science? Ask them what beauty they see in the aspect of the universe that they study.
- Is anyone in your local church an artist of any kind – perhaps a musician, or a painter, or a poet? Ask them what beauty they appreciate, and how they create beauty with their work.
- Does anyone in your local church work in hospitality – do they work in a restaurant, or cafe, or hotel, or guest house? Ask them how about the importance of the impact of their work on their customers’ senses. Is it important that things look, or smell, or taste good? Is the sound of their establishment important – perhaps how quiet it is, or what kind of music is playing? Are the textures of the materials they use important – perhaps the feel of the chairs and the tables, or the type of material used on the beds, or in the bathrooms?
You can read about the instructions for and the construction of the tabernacle in Exodus 25-31 and 35-40.
- How would the children of Israel encounter the tabernacle with their senses? Think about the specifics of sight, sound, smell, taste and texture.
You can read about the building of the temple under Solomon in 1 Kings 5-8.
- What impression would the temple have made on the people who encountered it?
- What did this say about God?
- What did this say about Israel?
- As you read the Psalms, what beauty do you encounter?
- How does the poetry convey beauty?
- How does the beauty enhance the message, or the sharing of experience of individual Psalms?
- As you read Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, or the Song of Solomon, what pictures are painted?
- Which pictures make the biggest impression on you?
- How is your imagination useful in understanding the issues being talked about?
- As you read through Ezekiel, what methods does he use to communicate his message?
- What would it have been like for his audience to experience his ministry?
- What sights, sounds, smells, tastes or textures would they have encountered?
- As you imagine this, how does it change your experience of his book?
- How does Jesus engage the senses of his audience?
- How does He engage their imaginations?
- What pictures does He paint in the parables? How is this important for the message that He shared?