Living Sacrifices

Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God…
– Romans 12:1

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As you walk through St. Peter’s Basilica and the nearby Sistine Chapel in Rome, one thing certainly stands out — the incredible artwork. Michelangelo’s Pieta and the amazing dome in St, Peter’s, as well as the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, present astounding examples of a world-famous Renaissance man at his best. Many rightly wonder how one individual could possess such renowned talent, while most people exist in relative obscurity.

But let us view this from a different angle.

The vastness of St. Peter’s is humbling. The artwork is magnificent. The scope and shape and detailed perfection are breathtaking. And yet, the very size of St. Peter’s lends itself to another truth: working under and alongside the famous masters were literally thousands of valuable workers contributing their own hard work, creativity, ingenuity, sweat equity, and considerable talent in faithful devotion to a cause larger than themselves.

Though many never even saw the finished product, St. Peter’s today remains a thankful reminder of them. Each day, workers carried bricks, shaped marble, created vast mosaics from tiny tiles, raised columns to the sky, and, in many cases, risked their lives.

We do not know their names, but we do experience the magnificence of their combined efforts and their anonymous contributions to the larger grandeur of St. Peter’s. In each detail, in every corner high and low, their devoted labors live on.

This is another kind of testimony: a spiritual worship, a quiet, humble witness to the glory of God. These are ongoing offerings with no fanfare, little recognition. But the lasting contributions to the larger beauty of St. Peter’s and the artwork it incorporates has brought wonder to visitors throughout the centuries.

In the same way, we are creators of our own kind of holy art. Co-creating with God, let us faithfully present our lives “as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God...”

In doing so, the artwork of our lives can bring peace and beauty to those around us; and may future generations be blessed for the contributions we make, however humble or unrecognized.

Reflect

Saint Peter’s Bascilica and the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel is a remarkable human achievement. It didn’t happen overnight and it certainly didn’t happen without help.

Think about the many projects and causes you have been a part of – those that are much bigger than what you could have accomplished by yourself.

How did all the creative energy come together? What new things were born through that act of collaboration?

This was taken from our Lenten Devotional series. You can download week 5 here.


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David Jordan is the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Decatur. He regularly contributes for Baptist News Global. You can read more of his writings on his blog here.