A Moment Frozen in Time
This hallway is part of a museum and, as you stand there, you are surrounded by four unfinished pieces of stone. It is as if time itself has been frozen. An artist was working but stopped in the middle of his work, leaving four pieces of marble. The edges are rough. The stone is misshapen.
These rocks look like they have been cut from the quarry and dragged to this place. And yet, emerging from these blocks of stone are the beginnings of figures. Some have no faces. Others are missing arms, hands, feet.
Yet you can clearly see the beginning of four figures. They are slaves. Prisoners.
Begun by Michelangelo but never finished. His work has been frozen in time. What they once were, rough blocks of marble, is gone. What they will be, beautiful sculptures, is not yet here.
Instead, we stand here in the hallway in the midst of an awkward moment. The past is gone and yet not gone. The future is here and yet not here. We can see the future, slowly taking shape, and yet the past is painfully with us, as figures appear before us locked in the stone.
In our text this morning, Paul invites us into a hallway like this.