Anthem of the Second Chance

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By Dave Henning / January 27, 2021

“Restoration is the second stanza in the ‘Anthem of the Second Chance.’  In verse one, God forgives us.  In verse two God continually restores us to our place of service.  He washes us, for sure.  But he washes us for a reason — that we might once again be portraits of his goodness and hang in his gallery.”- Max Lucado

In Chapter 11 (“Breakfast with Jesus”) of Never Alone, Max Lucado tells the story behind Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper.  Almost as soon as Da Vinci completed it, the painting started to deteriorate.  As part of a convent restoration, the Duke of Milan commissioned the wall painting around 1494.  However, Da Vinci didn’t paint in fresco.  As a  result, the pigment failed to adhere properly to the surface.  So, within twenty years, The Last Supper began to flake.

Furthermore, the environment also factored in.  The convent refectory sat in a low-lying section of the city – prone to humidity.  And the wall Da Vinci painted was damp.

Therefore, on many occasions art restorationists have applied their skills to The Last Supper.  The most recent effort lasted from 1977 to 1999.  Art restorers mimic the brushstroke of the artist inch by exacting inch.  In the process, they reclaim the color and reveal genius.  Consequently, Max explains:

“Thanks to the restorationists the work of Da Vinci can be admired.  Thanks to Jesus, the work of his servants can be restored.  The years take their toll on the purest of saints.  Our souls get soiled.  Our luster diminishes.  We need cleaning up as well. . . .  We . . . have fallen flat, fallen hard, and fallen enough to leave us wondering how in God’s name God names us as his own. . . .  In calling to the surface the Jonah moments in  which we turned from God, Elijah moments in which we ran from God, Jacob moments in which we dared to make a demand of God.”

Hence, Pastor Lucado asks whether you’ve questioned God’s desire to ever use you again.  If so, Max exhorts, turn to John’s account of Peter’s restoration.

Today’s question: When has the Anthem of the Second Chance played in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “”Two fires – somewhere between?”

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Dave Henning

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