Sunday, 22 February 2015

Pause In Lent #1 – Getting Dressed

A Pause in Lent Floss

I love words and their meanings – and recently I have been thinking about the word dress [that is probably connected with weddings…] but not the noun, rather the verb

We dress lots of different things – ourselves, windows, salads, lawns, wounds, crabs…

My Bible readings this week have been from 1 Peter, and I read this

As you come to him, the Living Stone – rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

I started pondering the idea of living stones and remembered that the craftsman will dress stones before he uses them for his building. I looked it up, and discovered this

Dressing of stones is a process in which their surfaces are prepared to a form, fit to be used for any constructional purpose. Dressing is according to the type of work and demand. The Purpose of Dressing Stones is

  • To make them fit, to be used for particular construction.
  • To provide horizontal and vertical joints in the masonry
  • Generally to give them a neat and good appearance.

Horstead stone dressing 1960The more I thought about this ancient craft, I realised something important – all the instances of ‘dressing’ in my list at the top of this post involve adding something [clothes, curtains, oil, fertiliser, bandages, pepper…] but when stones are dressed, something has to be chipped away. The worker removes exactly the right amount of stone to make it truly useful.

And that is what God does with us, patiently and lovingly - He chips away the rough edges which prevent us ‘fitting’ into the construction of his kingdom. He helps us to form secure joints [relationships] with our brothers and sisters in Christ. He enables us to have a good appearance [witness] to those looking on.

bridge stones

God had graciously given us gifts already – and he knows our inner strengths and abilities [he created us, after all] and he knows where we will be of most use. I love this picture of bridge-building in the Lake District. The stones are different shapes, colours and sizes – but together they make an attractive structure, which will help carry people over the water. Being chipped away at by a hammer may be temporarily painful – but the end result, when set in its appointed place, is something beautiful and useful. I want to be a living stone, even if the process of ‘dressing’ isn’t always comfortable! It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase

Getting dressed for church

12 comments:

  1. Wonderful post. Thank you very much. I must now get dressed for church myself in both senses.

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  2. Have joined in with this series this morning - hope that is OK xx

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    1. Of course- you are on the list. Thoughts and prayers are with you especially right now x

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  3. Thank you...I like the image of us being made 'fit'...even though, as you say, the process is often uncomfortable!

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  4. YES! What an interesting analogy and so true! God does this to us, he tries to chip away at the many layers we build around ourselves that seperate us from him. How funny, i was just wondering about a Pause for Lent this morning at church and thinking I hadn't heard about it and thinking I should write something. Did I miss the announcement about it?x

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    1. Shall I add you to the list of Pausers?

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  5. Beautifully said, Angela! I like knowing that the Lord loves me so much and chips away at the stone in my heart, dressing me for heaven.

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  6. A great post, and yes sometimes being made 'fit' does hurt or is uncomfortable.

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  7. We had rocks at our altar today in church. Synchronicity.

    I am joining in with you in a Pause for Lent at my writing blog: www.nmccarrollwriting.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for joining us, Nancy. I've added you to the list on my sidebar. I love that Rembrandt picture on your blog!

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  8. This fits in with one of the themes of my readings: being disciplines, refined. It's been a bit of a theme in moving to the new house too. Thank you for your words- they always help me! My Pause is coming today- I'm sorry that yesterday disappeared!

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