Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Masterpiece in the Making

A few years ago, I was in Italy with a group of student leaders. Since you can't go to Italy without taking in their artwork, we visited the museum exhibiting Michelangelo's David statue. The creation of this statue fascinated me long before I ever saw the piece itself.

In the late 1400s, a group called the Operai commissioned several prominent sculptors and artisans of the day to create twelve statues of characters from the Old Testament. They provided the blocks of marble, very expensive during that day, and set the sculptors to work. Work began on the David in 1464 but after initial carving, it was abandoned. The story goes that the block of marble was left to the elements for twenty-five years. The Operai was very upset because not only was the block of marble expensive but also represented  difficulty in labor and transportation and it was now a shadow of what it had been when work first began on it. At 26 years old, Michelangelo begged the Operai to allow him to complete the David. From 1501-1504, he painstakingly carved the statue, shaving away the parts damaged by the elements and carving features in great detail, leaving behind a masterpiece.

If you hate history, I hope you stuck with me because none of that is the reason I love the David statue. Michelangelo took a piece of marble that was a wreck, had been abandoned, was weathered, and already marked up, and he turned it into a MASTERPIECE. He was willing to work on a piece of marble that everyone else had abondoned and make it something beautiful.

I believe that is exactly what Jesus desires to do with us. He takes who we are, broken, weathered, abandoned and takes a chance on us...convinced He can and will turn us into a masterpiece. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" He no longer looks at us and sees a broken block of marble but a beautiful statue that He is transforming into His likeness and displaying for others to see His glory! That is so humbling to me.

Micahelangelo also looked past the surface. He chipped away at the marble for years until it reflected exactly what he desired. All the messed up pieces were just excess that he cleared away. Proverbs 25:4 says, "Remove the dross from the from the silver and out comes material for the silversmith." Jesus removes the broken pieces from our lives so that He sees nothing but the righteousness of Christ shining back at Him.

Isaiah 64:8 says, "O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand." Just like Michelangelo chiseled away until the masterpiece of David was revealed, so the Lord molds us in His hands, shaping us, removing the impurities, and transforming us into a MASTERPIECE IN THE MAKING! Be encouraged that no matter how messy your life has been, is, or will become, you are NEVER so broken, weathered, and abandoned that Jesus won't take a chisel and begin to mold you into a masterpiece. He loves you that much!


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