by Nina Wiskus
Our church has commissioned a new processional cross. On Sunday, July 19, after the service, in the parking lot, we got to whiteness the artist’s pouring of the brass cross. The process was such a beautiful metaphor for life and salvation. As we watched I couldn’t help but tear up a little. How beautiful that through the process of creating such a sacred item we can see a metaphor for our lives.
We arrived to the scene of the bronze being heated to extremely high temperature within a crucible. It was brought to a liquid state; in this state the impurities float to the surface and are fished out. The liquid bronze was then poured into the plaster mold to take its new shape. After a few hours, when the bronze cooled and hardened into its new shape the artist took a hammer to the plaster mould and broke free the cross! A new creation is revealed. But even after that the work is not complete. There is a fine tuning that has to take place to smooth out the rough edges. When it is finally complete it will take its rightful place behind the altar of Church of the Cross!
We, like the bronze, are molded through trials, contained in the crucible (a difficult test or challenge, a place or situation that forces people to change or make difficult decisions). But it is all for the purpose of refining. Our impurities are forced to the surface through this heat, one level of purification. The pouring of the hot liquid bronze symbolizes our transformation through salvation–our biggest transformation. We are born again, the same substance given a new shape, the image of Christ, a cross. Christ, the mold, had to be shattered and broken by the Father, the great artist, so that we could become this new creation. Now the new creation is revealed. It is beautiful! But even in its new stunning state, still there are imperfections that show and need to be smoothed out. This is life as a child of God. We are a new creation, but not complete until that final day. But on that day we will be set in a place of honor, fully complete, adored by the artist. The stunning creation, complete, rings out the praise of the creator with its beauty.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5