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Thursday, 21 April 2022 14:29

What will you do with your second life?


Matisse 1

I recently visited the Henri Matisse exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW.  Matisse’s early work is a collection of colourful and detailed paintings and sculptures, often depicting real life images and people. In the final room, Matisse’s work takes a dramatic shift, a result of his battle with cancer that almost took his life and greatly limited his physical capacity. Rather than give up, Matisse poured his creativity into developing a new art form using paper and scissors. What emerged were some of his most famous works in his series of cut-outs, their bright colours seeming to celebrate what Matisse gratefully described as his Second Life.





As I pondered this Second Life of Matisse, I couldn’t help but contemplate that this is what each one of Matisse_2.jpgus has been given in the gift of Jesus. It reminded me of my favourite verse from the Christmas carol, Hark the Herald Angels Sing: 

 Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!

  Hail the Sun of righteousness!

Light and life to all He brings,

  Ris’n with healing in His wings:

Mild He lays His glory by,

  Born that man no more may die;

Born to raise the sons of earth;

  Born to give them second birth.

It made me wonder if we are aware of this second birth that we’ve been given: that we have a God who loves us unconditionally, forgives our sins and will be with us forever.  It made me wonder if we really celebrate our second birth, being grateful for the gift of our life and the offer of rebirth that Jesus gives us. It made me wonder if we’re living out second life to the full: allowing the Holy Spirit to move creatively in and through us to bring God’s love and light to others. This Easter season is a great chance to do just that: to increase our awareness, gratitude and response to the gift of our second life and to intentionally take up this opportunity to create something new and beautiful as a response to the overflowing love of God.

Berna Toohey