Trust God in this…it Will Only Hurt a Moment or Two.
Devotion for our Day:
6 The Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants, and you will love him with all your heart and all your soul so that you will live. Deuteronomy 30:6 (CSBBible)
IT IS SAID THAT MICHELANGELO, contemplating the unworked block of marble that had arrived at his studio, declared, “The statue is there, inside.” His labor consisted of removing the extra material so that the image he had in mind could appear. The day I met the founder of Opus Dei, he used that example to explain to the group of young people that we had to let God work in our souls and consent with docility to his getting rid of whatever was extra so that the face of Christ could appear in our lives: that we were called precisely to be other Christs, Christ himself. And the labor of identifying ourselves with Christ is the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
So carnal is the body of Christians which composes the conservative wing of the Church, so shockingly irreverent are our public services in some quarters, so degraded are our religious tastes in still others that the need for power could scarcely have been greater at any time in history. I believe we should profit immensely were we to declare a period of silence and self-examination during which each one of us searched his own heart and sought to meet every condition for a real baptism of power from on high.
The Michalangelo discussion came up about a week ago, as I talked with a friend about the need to let God circumcise the church. His response was that it was too graphic. But it is the same concept, and maybe a little less painful than Michelangelo’s solution.
Surgeon or Sculpter?
A very sharp knife, or a chisel and hammer?
The illustration is much the same, God has to reveal who we are, by eliminating all that is not reflective of Jesus. All the sin, all the anxiety, all the resentment, guilt and shame.
To reveal what the Artist sees in us. For God, and God alone, sees the image of Christ in us. It is there, it always has been. Others can surely see all that has been added, all that is marred, all that is disfigured. An in many of our lives, we bear as little resemblance to what God sees as a cube of marble represents the Pieta. (that image is better than the Apostle Paul’s!)
We need to realize God is doing this in our lives. We need to realize He is doing this in the church as well, and I feel, especially the church in America. We desperately need to cut away, chip and hammer at us, so that all that remains is the image of Jesus. Will it hurt? Perhaps, but the Holy Spirit is here to comfort and heal us. You, me, our local churches, the One, Holy, catholic and Apostolic Church.
We need to be still, and know He is the LORD.
The work will only take a moment….
Fazio, Mariano . Last of the Romantics: St. Josemaria in the Twenty-First Century (p. 49). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
A. W. Tozer and Marilynne E. Foster, Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 366-Day Devotional (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007).