The Word: Shaping a masterpiece

Published 8:00 am Sunday, June 11, 2023

If you have ever made anything out of wood, then you know the joy of shaping a masterpiece from some strips. A few years ago, I built a 14-ft. kayak from some strips of wood. If you have shaped a masterpiece from wood then you know how important it is to spend time sanding it to get the curves just right and bring out the natural beauty of the grain. But sand it against that grain and you run the risk of getting a splinter. You’re probably wincing right now!

St. Paul describes you as God’s masterpiece. One translation of Ephesians 2:10 reads “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” You are a masterpiece who was created by God to walk with Him every day of your life. God loves you so much that He even planned out what those days would look like. Paul says that God has good things planned for us to do.

Sounds great, right? So how do we walk with God? How do we figure out what He has planned for us to do? God’s plan is laid out for us in the Bible. When Jesus is asked what our lives should look like, he says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind . . . You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37, 39). All of God’s commandments help us accomplish this in our lives.

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One of those commandments says “You shall remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” God’s plan has always been that we balance work with rest. He created Adam on the sixth day and the first thing God showed Adam was how to rest on the seventh day. Then God told Adam to take nights off to walk with Him in the cool of the day. Later God commanded His people to take a day off once a week to walk with Him and established yearly feasts and festivals so that His people always balanced work with rest. That’s part of God’s plan for His masterpiece.

So if you feel like you’re struggling with some painful splinters as you walk with God to shape His masterpiece then maybe you’re working against the grain. Maybe you’re not following God’s plan for your life. We all struggle with splinters – some small, some big. That’s why Jesus came. He bore the largest splinter. He carried the splinter upon which he would later be crucified. The splinter which would pierce him so that we can be cleansed by his blood and forgiven, so that we can live as God’s masterpiece created anew in Christ Jesus. So we can enjoy the good things, like rest, that He planned for us long ago.

Rev. Matthew Sorenson is the pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church. He can be reached at