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By Carolyn L. Primm
The story is told that during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, there was a shortage of silver for the currency in the British Empire. In response, Cromwell sent out representatives to search the nation in hopes of finding a source of silver to relieve the currency crisis. The representatives returned with a report that the only remaining source of silver they could find was that which had been used to make the statues of saints in the nation’s cathedrals.
Cromwell is reported to have replied, “Then, let’s melt down the saints, and put them in circulation!”
At first consideration, Cromwell’s statement may seem sacrilegious. His statement, however, accurately reveals the essence of Christlike living. As Christians we are not to pompously stand as statues in a corner of the church Sunday after Sunday, present, but disengaged. Christian faith is not displayed by church attendance, Church is a place to gather the precious treasures of Biblical wisdom and Christian encouragement which we can distribute to others.
Church is a place to worship the God who provides so bountifully all that we need. Our mere presence in the church, however, does little to put into circulation the riches of our faith. True faith is expressed in the giving of oneself, the “melting down of the saints.”
Though we do not appreciate the heat required to bring our treasures out into the open, the heat is necessary.
The heat may present as the disapproval of others, or, even more painful to accept, the total lack of appreciation for all that we put forth. Whatever is of value within the Christian, however, can only be revealed when Christ followers allow themselves to be “melted” by the heat of involvement and sacrificial giving. Consumed by the heat, our energy, and abilities warm and benefit others. The heat burns away all that is false and worthless in our actions, as the fire reveals that which is noble and true and of worth.
Whether or not Cromwell understood the profound nature of his statement, his command perfectly states what needs to happen in our churches, in our communities, and in our homes. If we desire to render to others the precious treasures found in our faith, we must “melt down the saints and put them in circulation.”