We live not too far away from a wonderful place in Suffolk, called Kentwell Hall. It holds many historical Re-Creation days throughout the year, specializing in Tudor times. Scholarly volunteers go to great lengths to dress the part, and are very knowledgeable about the various crafts that would have been used in Tudor times.
Yesterday we went to the Hall’s last historical day of the year, celebrating Michalemas. We chatted to many of the folk there about what it would have been like for a Hall of that size to make preparations to survive the harsh winter months. But two conversations stood out for me. We spoke to one Journeywoman Wood Turner, who could do extraordinary lathe work with flexible branches of trees and string! She demonstrated how to make some chair legs, as well as starting the initial work of a Tudor string instrument. I was intrigued as to how long her training would have taken.
The same theme was taken up when chatting to the Blacksmith. He told us of how many different skills he would have needed to use for the Great Hall, but when I asked him what was his favourite skill as a blacksmith, he reached around to a crude shelf and brought out the most exquisite teaspoons. They had been skilfully twisted into the most elegant of handles, and a tiny brass bowl attached. I asked the same question about training, and he told me that he would need three to four year as an Apprentice, another six years as a Journeyman, before he would be allowed to travel to London to try out for his Master’s papers. He would only ever be granted such a qualification if he brought with him evidence of his skill. These artisans would go to their Craft Guilds with the finest possible workmanship they could achieve. Only the best would be good enough. It would be their ultimate piece of work, and was therefore called… their Master-piece.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us:-
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (NLT)
God will take all the time He needs to fashion you into the finest possible you that there can be. A blacksmith has to heat the iron in an intense source of heat, then apparently hammer the living daylights out of it, to twist and bend it into something beautiful. If the spoon could only speak….
Lozenge moment – something to think through and savour…
• Do you feel under intense heat and pressure? It could well be that God is fashioning you for something extraordinary.
• It is NEVER easy to withstand such times. Do not be self-critical about it demonstrating how un-Christian you might feel.
• Jesus only allows this process so that He can present you to the Father as a MASTERPIECE