v 10. 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.
We are God’s masterpiece – and I am part of it.
Now before you run off thinking – ‘Wow! I’m God’s masterpiece’, pause to reflect on the fact that it gives the plural WE. The tendency in our day is to individualise faith issues, so we emphasise the ME and MY of faith. This is only about me insofar that I am part of the much bigger WE. There is no doubt that God does wonderful things for individuals; he encourages, he heals, he guides us as individual members of his body. But Paul is writing about a much bigger idea; it is the whole picture that is the masterpiece not the individual elements that go to make it up.
A few years ago I visited Monet’s garden in Giverny and went on to see some of his massive paintings in L’orangerie museum in Paris. Stand well back from the paintings and you can grasp something of the beauty and artistic skill that went into creating them. Get up close and they look fuzzy and indistinct. Each little fuzzy and blurred square of the painting is nothing to shout about, but when you see the whole picture you can marvel at Monet’s skill. Then you see the masterpiece for what it is.
That is what Paul is going on about – WE are part of a masterpiece that is going on display! He writes in v 7 ‘So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. ‘ I am privileged to be an element (however blurry and indistinct) of God’s masterpiece church, the body of Christ. This masterpiece, of which you are a part, will be proof of God’s power and grace, and he will be able to say to the whole universe ‘There is the proof of my grace and kindness.’
You are privileged to be a small element of a magnificent masterpiece.
How does that make you feel? Without you there would be a vacant spot on the canvas – you are significant.