"The Master's Best"
August 3, 2013
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17
On one of the arches of a magnificent cathedral in Europe is sculptured a face of wondrous beauty.
Sadly, the face can be clearly seen only once a year when the sun is in a certain position. At that time and on that day the sun's rays stream through a small window and illuminate the exquisite carving.
According to legend, when the massive edifice was being built, an old man came and begged the architect to give him permission to work on some portion of the great church. In the years past the man had been a well-known artist, but now age had taken its toll on his trembling hands and failing vision. Fearing the man's work might mar the beautiful building, the architect's first thought was to say, "No, we can't use you."
Still the man had spent his life as a faithful craftsman doing magnificent work. That is why the planner allowed the artisan to chisel his project in a space that was hidden in the shadows of the giant vaulted roof. In this way the architect was at peace for he knew only a few people would ever see whatever the man managed to create.
The months passed by slowly. Each day the craftsman's climb up the scaffolding seemed to be slower and more difficult. Finally came the day when his work was completed ... almost. With only a small bit to go, the worker climbed to the roof one last time.
When darkness began to fall and the carver hadn't yet come down, some other workers went up to investigate. They found the craftsman had died. His tools were beside him, and his sightless eyes were fixed on the marvelous face he had carved into the marble.
Although the man had thought his work would never be seen, he had given his all to produce a masterpiece.
When I read that story, I wondered if I would do the same. Would I work just as hard on a sermon if I knew it was only going to be heard by a handful of souls? Would I choose my words as carefully if I knew this devotion was only going to be read by ten or twenty?
I'm afraid I know what I would do.
Thankfully, we have a Savior who is far, far better than us. We have a Savior who gave His best all the time. People hated Him, hounded Him, tried to hurt Him, but still He gave His all. There were those who tortured Him and had Him crucified, but still He loved them and called from the cross for their forgiveness. All this Jesus did so our salvation might be won.
This is why His followers should do their best to make as many people as possible see this beautiful thing which the Lord has wrought. Like John the Baptizer, we need to point others to the "Lamb of God who takes away sins of the world" (see John 1:29).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You gave Your Best, Your Son, to save me. Now may I, with a thankful heart, give my best as I witness to You with my word, with my works, with my life. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries