The recent blaze which destroyed much of the Notre Dame Cathedral in France has me reflecting on the grand works of art to which the masses flock.
Many will analyze the value of churches like Notre Dame in light of this loss and the cost required to maintain such large monuments. Though a church, it is really a work of art, and what is art but an expression of one’s sentiment for the subject.
When in love, musicians write love songs, artists paint portraits, sculptors bring a face from a stone. Their talent brings out the depth of their emotion. That love is their inspiration. The same can be said for art that is born from hurt or hate, apathy or condemnation.
We, who are mere spectators in the art world, are grateful to those who have the gift. Their work allows us to be drawn to the subject, be touched by its beauty or majesty. For the cathedral of Notre Dame, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the music of “The Messiah”, I do not begrudge the cost or labor, because these works of art ultimately draw me to God.
But I am not a painter, a musician or sculptor; how can I show my love for the One who loved me first? What is the highest expression of my devotion? Jesus said,
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.*
A life surrendered outshines a cathedral, a sculpture and a piece of music, because it is the true reflection of his work, his transforming power — his expression of love for me.
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.*
Who has your ultimate devotion? It will be reflected by the life you live. May your ultimate expression of devotion be a life lived for Christ.
That’s a work of art no fire can destroy.
Grace and Peace
*Matthew 16:24 (NIV).
*Matthew 5:16 (NIV).