At every Missional Community Gathering, Church of the Advent looks at a piece of art and asks, “What does this have to say about following Christ?” This reflection was written by our very own Gladys Drew, and is based on the sculpture “Self Made Man” by Bobbie Carlyle, which was featured at our July Missional Community Gathering. Agree? Disagree? Let us know by emailing us. And see you at the MC Gathering in September!
“This sculpture makes me very sad. It has all the beauty of God’s greatest creation—mankind. But he looks downward toward his imprisonment, instead of up toward the heavens to his Maker, where his hope lies. He is intent on freeing himself from the mire which is so ancient, it is now hardened bronze. With his own strength and desire, he attacks the chisel with his passionate mallet, seeking to recreate himself as a free man. His muscles strain and bulge outward in his efforts. In his dissatisfaction, it is almost as if he were blindly trying to recreate himself into something magnificent and new.
It makes me think of how unregenerate man, the unsaved soul, strains against knowing God. He tries to save himself with his own fleshly strength, denying that the Living God is a supernatural God who works by His Spirit and not by power or might. The only one who can make a new man out of him is the Living God. And the only one who can truly free him is the Living God. This man will pridefully slave and labor to save himself, only to be disappointed with the results, which will never be perfect. He will look and see nothing lasting. He will find himself enslaved again and again until he surrenders to the Living God, seeing his own brokenness.”