Saturday, November 17, 2007

All Things New

For my wife's birthday last May, her sister, Nina, gave Ellen a kitchen remodel. Now that the renovation is nearly complete I have concluded that there is something decidedly Christian about home-remodel projects. At the very least they are potent metaphors for God's saving and sanctifying work in the life of a believer. Viz:

Costly. Both salvation and home-renovation are costly endeavors. And in our case both could only have been accomplished through the gracious provision of another.

New and yet the same. Considered one way, the saved-sinner and the newly-remodeled kitchen are the same; the same locus, the same recognizable "shape", performing the same sorts of daily routines/duties. But considered another way, the saved sinner and the newly-remodeled kitchen are vastly different. That which was old, ugly and disfunctional has been replaced by that which is new, beautiful and useful.

Slow and hard. Unlike the "Extreme Home Makeover" show on TV, remodeling/sanctification are "slow and hard." If the changes are going to last and be a blessing for generations to come, they must be done carefully, and they must be done in a particular order (each new change dependent upon the changes that preceded it.) The renovation must be done by a Master-craftsman who knows the master-plan and the appropriate materials to use. The project must be overseen by a contractor who possesses the right tools to demolish and rebuild; a workman who can labor patiently and lovingly with raw material that will quite often resist his renovative plans and purposes.

Never quite finished in this life. Our house was built in 1921 and we have lived here for the last 16 years. Although we are only the third owner of the house, it has seen quite a few repairs, renovations and remodels over the years. And it continues to be, just like its inhabitants, a work in progress.


Derek said...

Hey Pastor Gene,

Having participated in both (a repair and a remodel) my take is that the home remodel project is far more pleasurable.

With the remodel you get something pleasant (like a beautiful kitchen) out of the deal. With the repair you spend most of your time praying, "Dear God...please let this fix work."

My two-cents...

Gene Helsel said...


Amen, brother! Especially with plumbing.