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Lost and Found

David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both young and old…David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken…Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back.” (1 Samuel 30:1-2, 18–19)

In my humble opinion, the most beautiful sculpture in the world is Michelangelo’s Pieta. This renaissance sculpture is housed in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Michelangelo finished it in 1499 and it’s a beautiful depiction of Jesus’ mother, Mary, holding the dead body of Jesus after he was removed from the cross.

In 1972, a deranged vandal named Laszlo Toth attacked the Pieta with a sledgehammer while shouting, “I am Jesus Christ!” He pummeled the sculpture with 15 blows before he was finally stopped. Everyone was sure that the damage done had ruined this priceless masterpiece. But within 12 months, artists were able to restore it to its original beauty. I’ve never seen it in person, but they say you can’t tell it was ever damaged in the first place.

Now, when you look at the Pieta, it isn’t just a testimony of the greatness of the artist, but of the greatness of the restoration artists, too. Beauty – lost, stolen – but recovered. That’s God’s plan for the world…and that’s God’s plan for you and me.

You know, it’s also a pretty good illustration of the story of God’s interaction with humans. Since the Fall – since we sinned – God has been on a rescue mission. We were carried away to the enemy’s camp, held hostage by our sin. God’s plan is to recover everything the devil has stolen. At Ziklag, David won the battle and recovered everything that had been stolen.

At Golgotha, Jesus did the same. Jesus – on the cross: “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:19–20)

Beauty – lost, stolen – but recovered.

Join us Sunday for my sermon from the life of David, “Lost and Found.”


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