By David Bragg
One of the great thinkers of all time was Leonardo da Vinci, who distinguished himself as an inventor, artist and engineer (among other disciplines). The story is told of a time when he took under his wings a young aspiring artist who observed carefully his master's intense work on a large canvas in his studio. He watched as the great artist chose his subject, planned the perspective, sketched the outline, and finally began apply the colors with his own inimitable genius. Then da Vinci ceased his painting, still unfinished, and turned to his student he asked him to complete the work. The student protested that he was both unworthy and unable to complete the great painting which his master had begun. But da Vinci asked. "Will not what I have done inspire you to do your best?"
As Christians we have a similar obligation. We are sitting at the feet of the ultimate Master, Jesus Christ. From here we learn what it means to really love, obey and serve God as we watch the masterpiece of His life. But, like that young da Vinci disciple, we have the obligation of not only watching, but putting into action what we learn from Him. He wants us to not just learn but also to live as He wants us to live. He urges us on with the admonition, "Will not what I have done inspire you to do your best?"
The beauty of Christianity as it perpetuates itself from generation to generation is the joy of learning from those who go before us. As we watch how they serve Jesus they become examples for us. But with the passing of time we ourselves become the examples for the generation that follows. Am I setting a clear example of devotion to Christ? Will those who look to me as a model of obedience learn how to themselves serve the Master?
- David Bragg serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and is co-editor of BulletinGold. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.nwchurchofchrist.com/ or his blog: http://davidbragg.blogspot.com/