Lutheran Hour Ministries

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"All the Marbles"

July 12, 2018

Acts 4:12 - And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men which we must be saved.

The title of the Reuters' article read, "Greece Wants the Parthenon Marbles Back" from the British Museum.

Although Pam and I have been to Greece numerous times, and we have both spoken to guides and politicians about this very matter, for a moment I had a vision of some boys from Greece looking over the shoulders of some lads from Great Britain who were on their hands and knees playing with their aggies and alleys and shooters, you know, marbles.

But a game of marbles is not what the article was about.

The article was speaking about some marble sculptures which once hung on the Parthenon. They are no longer there because a British diplomat removed them in the early 1800s and took them to Britain for safekeeping. His argument went something like this: "You Greeks are being ruled by the Ottomans who just might mess up or even destroy these one-of-a-kind masterpieces. We will take care of them for you until we're sure you're ready for them."

Now I don't use the term "masterpiece" without thought. These Parthenon marbles are the creation of Phidias and his journeymen sculptors. Phidias, you see, was just about the best of the best and was responsible for the statue of seated Zeus, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Understandably, the Greeks want their treasures back.

They have pointed out they are no longer being ruled by the Ottoman Empire, and they have a museum all built and ready to hold these marbles when they are returned -- something Britain does not appear too eager to do.

In some ways, the story of the Parthenon marbles reminds me of how humanity, the Lord's masterpiece, was stolen.

The story begins with creation. After bringing everything else into being with a word, the Lord did some personal, physical work on the making of Adam and Eve. When He was done, He surveyed the results, and pronounced everything "very good."

And it was. But then Satan, using some pretty smooth fast-talk stole away those masterpieces. It appeared Adam and Eve would be lost for all time. Indeed, it would have been that way if the Lord had not set into motion a plan to return us to where we belonged.

It took more than words -- more than petitions -- to bring sinners home.

It took the life of God's own Son to buy us back from those who had stolen us. It took the Savior who removed every obstacle which had been an impediment to our return. It was a hard task, but Jesus' third-day resurrection became God's sign and promise that believers will be brought home ... not to a museum but to our heavenly home.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, by Your grace, by Your plan, by Your Son's victory, we have been saved from evil and damnation. Make us truly grateful for all You have done and enable us to share that good news with others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Renee Maltezou for Reuters and carried on June 26, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: