Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo is one of the most renowned artists in history. He is quoted as saying, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”(1) Have you ever thought of yourself in this way? That God is continually working within us to reveal the person we were created to be? Paul writes, “For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art] . . ..” (Eph. 2:10, AMP) The Greek word translated as “workmanship” is poieō which means “to make, to be the author of, to fashion, or to form.” This is the same root word for “poet” which implies authorship and creativity. God created us in his image and God continues to give us the grace to reflect his glory.
To live in the likeness of Christ Jesus is a lifelong journey. This requires constant self-awareness and adjustment to God’s ways. Thankfully, our rich Christian tradition couples with scripture offers help. As Christians, we observe liturgical seasons through each year beginning with Advent. On February 10, Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, the 40 days preceding Easter (not including Sundays). This is a time when we “reflect on the disciples’ own temptations and failures as they are sent out to serve, heal, teach and proclaim the reality of God’s kingdom on earth . . . [We also] consider the desert places of our own lives and the practice and failure that meets us in our own quest for faithfulness to the God of love, peace, and justice.”(2) Paul writes, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes
from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18, NIV)
We are invited to enter this season of Lent with unveiled faces. We need not hide or disguise who we are. God meet us right where we are no matter what we have done or where we have been or who we have been with. The Master Sculptor and Author of our lives seeks to change and transform us into the likeness of his Son that we might reflect his glory in all that we say and in everything that we do.
To encourage us along the journey through Lent toward Easter, our staff will be publishing a Lenten Guide for you to use. Each week will have a unique theme and there will be scriptures for each day. We will “pray the scriptures” which is the ancient practice of Lectio Divina. I will also be leading a sermon series called “Fear Not.” We will look at the biblical understanding of fear and seek to live as a people who live by faith and not by fear. I look forward to journeying alongside you through this Lenten season. In Christ’s service, Pastor Bob
2 A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God, (Upper Room Books: 2013), p. 121.