October 01, 2022
I remember visiting the Louvre in Paris, strolling with a group of friends through what seemed like miles of beautiful and incredibly valuable works of art. As we made our way into yet another corridor, I saw a gathering of people at the far end, apparently standing in front of a painting.
It must be famous, I thought, as we moved in for a closer look. And it was. It was Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa…the mysterious lady with the enigmatic smile. And because this was such an invaluable work of art, the curators not only had put it behind glass to control the temperature and humidity but had also roped it off to keep people at a distance. There was even an armed and stern-looking security guard standing nearby.
The painting itself was relatively small, making it all but impossible to enjoy and details in da Vinci’s work, because you had to keep your distance. Don’t touch! Don’t come near! Stand back!
But God treats his masterpieces quite differently. What or whom are his masterpieces? We are! God’s redeemed sons and daughters.
Ephesians 2:10 says,
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
That word handiwork is the Greek word poiema and refers to God’s workmanship, something he takes great delight in creating.
In a church service I attended not long ago, the pastor reminded us of this fact, and then invited us to stand up, reach out, and touch someone near us. “Give them a hug if you can,” he said. “Shake their hands, give their shoulders a squeeze.” Everyone happily complied with this, sitting down once again with smiles all around.
“Friends,” said the pastor, “I want you to know that you have just touched one of God’s masterpieces. You have touched a magnificent work of art, still on the easel, still in progress. The very handiwork of God himself.”
You and I could never be ordinary works of art. There is nothing “ordinary” about us. Because God is our artist, we are his masterpieces in process.
Unlike the curators of the Louvre, however, God treats his masterpieces quite differently. He invites us to draw near to each other, not to keep our distance.
He encourages us to touch and embrace each other, to hug and to hold. Though each one of us is far more valuable than any painting ever created by human hands, we are not to be separated and segregated away from one another.
In fact, our task as believers is more about removing the barriers between God’s masterpieces. We have the unspeakable privilege of approaching God together and working side by side to advance his kingdom.
Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (The Message)
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
In God’s great plan, we are privileged to help each other become the masterpieces of grace he intended.
God wants you to draw near to others, perhaps even getting involved in repairing damage or mending hearts. He calls you to embrace, encourage, touch, and lift up the hearts of weary, discouraged souls around you, or those who are dealing with illness or injury.
They may need a timely reminder that they are the handiwork of God in process—an eternal and deeply loved treasure.
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