“So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”
The photo above was taken at the ancient Greek city of Olympia. This ruined structure was once the workshop of Phidias, the greatest sculptor of classical antiquity. Phidias was responsible for the sculptural decoration of the famous Parthenon in Athens and the statue of the Olympian Zeus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The workshop in the photo is where the statue of Zeus was made. None of the splendid works of Phidias have survived. His work is only known from a few Roman copies and images on coins. One of the greatest bodies of artistic work ever produced is simply gone.
The sobering lessons of history can be hard to learn. For all our blustering and stamping about on this tiny, celestial ball the fact remains we are mortal creatures in a temporal existence. Human workmanship, even at its’ most glorious, eventually goes to dust and so do we. Nothing we put our hands to will stand the test of time. This does not have to be defended but it does need to be said.
The work of restoration that was begun 2,000 years ago at the cross of Christ is contemporaneous with our lives today. For even as the produce of human history is perpetually plowed back into the earth, the renewing, saving Word of the Gospel continues to create new people in Christ. The temporal consequences of the human story lead to a dead-end future. The eternal consequences of God’s work lead to an eternal future where what He has created in Christ Jesus will remain, pure and undefiled forever.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”