Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009 – Jesus Lover of My Soul – Isaiah 32:2

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly,While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.

Once there was a great Artist who poured all of His wonderful talent into a painting. Each stroke was one of love, and He even designed a magnificent gallery in which to hang His masterpiece. He came to look at the work every day, smiling fondly, loving it because it showed Him His own perfection.

Then one day, the Artist’s jealous neighbour and artistic rival stole the painting from its gallery. He took it back to his own home and began carefully and meticulously to destroy it. He splattered it with ugly colors and tore its fine canvas. The Artist watched from His own home with grief. He called His only Son and said, “Son, I want you to go and retrieve My precious painting. I know My neighbour will not rest until there is nothing left of it, and he will attack you when you step into his way. However, you will overcome him, and I cannot bear to be without My painting after all the work I put into it.”

The obedient Son loved his Father very much, and went to His neighbour’s house to rescue the painting. The one-time masterpiece was barely recognizable through all the grime and tears in its canvas. As the Artist had predicted, His neighbour did not take kindly to the Son’s intrusion. He assaulted the Son, who gritted His teeth, tucked what was left of the painting under His arm, and made His way toward the door. The neighbour beat Him again and again, and He could feel His strength ebbing. His blood ran over the painting. Finally, He crumpled to the floor, utterly spent.

The neighbour cackled with glee and tried to take the painting back. But what was this? The painting appeared to be healing before his very eyes! The slashes he had put there sealed up, with only the faintest traces of a seam still visible. The horrible colors he had splashed on the canvas melted away, leaving just a pale stain. In fact, wherever the Son’s blood touched it, the painting was restored. The neighbour discovered that he could not remove the painting from the Son’s fingers. He swore.

The Son’s eyes suddenly flickered open. The neighbour shrieked in terror and fled. The Son carried His trophy back to His Father’s house. The Artist flung the door open and embraced His Son and the painting. He carried the painting into a new, even grander gallery than the first and hung it proudly on the wall. “Father, are you going to remove My blood from it?” the Son asked.

The Artist smiled fondly at His Son and said, “I will not. Your blood reminds Me of the sacrifice You made to get this painting back. Every time I look at it now, I will see You. That makes it all the more precious to Me.”

Dearest Lord and Father, thank You for sending Your Son to redeem me from the devil’s power. Help me never to forget the sacrifice He made for me. Please keep me by Your side and bring me safely home to the gallery of heaven. I love You and praise You. In the name of Your Son Jesus, Amen.

-Becky Blomenberg

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

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