“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”


I have borrowed the name of a strong and beautiful rose as the title for my reflection during the times when we cannot meet in the church building because of the current pandemic. I plan to offer you a short reflection each week, stemming from the impressions and inspiration I am discovering. It is my prayer that we all discover God more deeply in this time while we are ‘Together While Apart’.


SUNDAY 21 June


Romans chapter 6 verses1b to11

1 Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.


The Gospel of Matthew chapter 10 verses 24 to 39

24 ‘The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! 26 ‘So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 32 ‘Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

34 ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn ‘“a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law –  36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”

37 ‘Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 3Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.



There was a documentary about Michelangelo on TV this week.  I learned a lot!

I discovered that Michelangelo’s David, which is said to be the most beautiful sculpture in the world, was commissioned in 1501. Traditionally sculptures of David portrayed him as the victor over Goliath - sometimes holding Goliath’s severed head aloft! Instead Michelangelo presents an image of David, before the confrontation with Goliath, as a youth who seems very... well, very human!

The marble block which Michelangelo chose to work with originally came from the marble quarry at Carrara. I was fascinated to learn that the block of marble he chose had already been worked on by two other sculptors. Each of them had stopped carving the marble due to its poor quality and brittleness,

So using flawed marble and further limited by the failed attempts already made to work on it, Michelangelo shaped the statue in secrecy, hidden away from the world. 

Michelangelo said of his technique - “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”


So it is with God at work in us. He works quietly, we might say secretly. He regards us as precious, as worth saving! He does not allow the imperfections in us to limit the potential for beauty. God ‘uncovers’ us! God ‘reveals’ us. What he does will alter all our relationships in dramatic ways.

These things take time, patience and skill, for God is a master-craftsman. Like Michelangelo at work on his marble, God recognises the faults and weaknesses in us and works with them to reveal something new. 

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Page last updated: 20th June 2020 6:56 AM