Let me just confess up front that I occasionally watch HGTV. Particularly Rehab Addict, Fixer Upper, and Love It or List It. I find it fascinating to watch someone with imagination, creativity, and resources take something old and restore it, or recast it into something new. Once upon a time, I imagined doing something similar with my great-grandfather’s “home place” but another cousin inherited it. I am left to hiring someone to turn my 25-year-old deck into something attractive and functional for us.
There is a magic, though, to watching it happen. When you step back and look at an old house or an old building (such as the Cary Theater) you recognize that it did not fall into disrepair overnight. Bit by bit, day by day, little by little, with neglect and time things fall apart. The original beauty can still be seen beneath the disrepair. The original “bones” and structure may still be sound. But a board has come lose here; a crack appears there; paint is peeling over there; and a design that was trendy in the 70s just doesn’t work anymore. But with imagination, creativity, and resources something new or re-newed can come from what is old.
It occurs to me that there may be a spiritual application here as well. We come to Christ and begin our life of faith and everything is new and untarnished. The fresh paint smell is still on our soul. But bit by bit, day by day, little by little, with neglect things fall apart. The original beauty is there but a doubt or two has crept in, a crack or two of apathy begins to show. We need restoration. Faith is not a “one and done” thing. It is daily and needs the daily attendance of maintenance and care to keep it in good working order.
In 1 John, we read that the love of God is to “obey his commandments.” As we do, we are promised that we know the “victory that conquers the world” which belongs to those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God. The promise is that holding to that faith becomes a continual work of renewal in us. It is the faith that God has the imagination, the creativity, and the resources to imagine something new behind my old, neglected, worn out exterior. Or, in the words of Charles Wesley, we are “perfectly restored in thee.”
We’ll talk about that a bit Sunday. I hope to see you at one of our five services. Come ready to scrape some paint off some worn places in your life and see the beauty of what lies beneath.
Grace and peace.