From Start to Finish

From Start to Finish

The Author and Finisher of Our Faith

Author and Finisher of Faith

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith …”  Hebrews 12:2

This verse tells us who Jesus is and what our response to Him must be. He is the author of faith. Faith originates with Him in its content of our faith and in our capacity to embrace it and live it.  Our response is to look unto Him.

Look unto Jesus, to turn every distraction of the world into an attraction for our response to Him. Looking to Jesus is not a passive, passing glance of recognition, but an act of wholehearted seeking whereby we exercise stillness and movement at the same time.

Looking unto Jesus involves every dimension of who we are: intellectually, physically, relationally, spiritually, emotionally, and socially. We cannot seek Him from a position of indifference or from a heart of cynicism. It must be the primary activity of our life to look unto Jesus.

But you ask, “How?” and it is a dangerous question to answer.

It is dangerous because any answer might be a formula, and this is not a matter of following a formula. Seeking Jesus is a state of mind and heart. It is a predisposition. It is an approach to everything we do, think, and feel.

Nevertheless, there are some pointers that we are given.

We encounter the written Word of God in the scriptures. So that is a place of seeking. We commune with Him in prayer, so that is another. We are called to see Him in others, so we might look unto Him in our relationships.

The same is true for opportunities to serve, songs of worship, the glories of creation, the arts, and every other thing we see, hear, or experience. The call is to look unto Him in everything.

As we look unto Him, He completes our faith.


Comment on the Art - from the National Gallery:

In the art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Virtues were often personified by human figures carrying identifying attributes. Faith in this case had a chalice and a cross, now broken. As represented by Mino da Fiesole, a contemporary of Desiderio da Settignano and Antonio Rossellino, Faith and a companion piece Charity appear as slender young girls in clinging, layered gowns with fine pleats. Their heavy mantles are carved in distinctive, angular folds. Typical of Mino's style is the fine, precise, sharp-edged treatment of textile folds and locks of hair, giving these features an ornamental quality different from the softer approach of Desiderio and Antonio Rossellino.

Set in arched niches, the figures must have been intended as part of a monument combining architecture and sculpture, probably a wall tomb inside a church. The Virtues would represent reasons for the deceased person's good memory on earth and hopes for Paradise.

Faith and Charity stand on bases treated as little banks of clouds, as if they were already in heaven themselves. Hope, the third theological Virtue mentioned in Saint Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, might have completed such a group.