September 29

September 29
by Pastor Judy

God’s Craftsmanship

Have you ever thought about God’s artistry?  I think of creation – the marvelous craftsmanship of this world, from the beauty of land and sea to the magnificence of the heavens.  And I think of how God has given us gifts of creativity as well – in song, art, sculpture, dance – you name it.  When I was a new mother, I marveled that he even chooses us to be co-creators with him in bringing new life to birth.

But there is more. We ourselves are God’s craftsmanship for the good of this world.  Paul says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10).  In his letter to the Corinthians Paul refers again to the world of art, to describe what God is creating in our lives: “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3:3).  In Christ, fashioned by the Holy Spirit, we ourselves are changed to be more than we are, God’s art in this world – not just to be admired, but to bring about good.  To bring about change, for the better.

You know, God could have brought goodness into this world all on his own.  But instead, he has chosen us to partner with him.  Jesus called us salt and light, and so we are – not because we are so perfect (because we aren’t), but because he is crafting us to be so.  He is shaping us – like the potter does at his wheel – to be functional art – a tribute to himself as well as to do his work on this earth.  What a privilege!  A humbling privilege.

Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem that takes God’s craftsmanship to the next level.  A pastor (who writes one of my devotionals, Rev. Alvin Rogness) first heard this poem from the lips of a dying teenaged girl.  I share it with you here:

When Earth’s last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colors have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it — lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall put us to work anew!

And those that were good shall be happy: they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comets’ hair;
They shall find real saints to draw from — Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!

And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame;
And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame,
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!

This next clip is a feast to the eye as well as to the ear.  Praise God as you watch and listen – and sing along!

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