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Rock of Ages: Polymer Clay & Glass Sculpture and the Beloved Hymn.

Contemporary Christian sculpture in polymer clay and glass by Sara Joseph
Rock of Ages, Polymer Clay and Glass. Sara Joseph, SOLD

A familiar hymn to most Christians, Rock of Ages, was written by Augustus M. Toplady, 1740-1778, and set to music by Thomas Hastings, 1784-1872. As a man wraps his cloak firmly around himself, Augustus wrapped the entire Christian gospel with finesse into this simple hymn.

I remember singing this hymn in my grandmother’s living room as little girl. Every evening in the summer, she dutifully corralled her many grandchildren for a mandatory time of singing, Bible reading and prayer. As young children we belted out this, and other hymns, oblivious of their rich significance.

Image of the lyrics of the Rock of Ages Hymn
Rock of Ages, Hymn by Augustus M. Toplady

Augustus wrote this hymn when he found shelter in the cleft of a rock during a ferocious storm.

He was not the first to come up with the comforting imagery of God as our Rock. The Holy Spirit referred to God as the Rock of Ages least 119 times in the Bible. It makes for a fascinating word study.

Like developing film in a darkroom—each newly discovered reference to the Rock in the Bible, improved my understanding of who this Rock really was. The more I read the more the blurry, shadowy image I had in my mind's eye became crisp.

When I created this sculpture, I was eager to reassure myself of the faithfulness of the Rock of Ages, Jesus, in whom I was placing all my trust. Created from a combination of glass and polymer clay, it gave me a new awareness of the importance of cleaving.

I mused as I worked, that deliberately calling on and clinging to His strength is what will carry me through every trial.

Contemporary Christian Sculpture detail in polymer clay of a woman's face by Sara Joseph titled Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages, Detail, Polymer Clay and Glass, Sara Joseph, SOLD

Contemporary Christian Sculpture by Sara Joseph in polymer clay and glass of the Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages, Detail 2, SOLD

For who is God besides the Lord?

And who is the Rock except our God?" Psalm 18:31

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Here are some personal discoveries about God that I remind myself of frequently when life seems overwhelming:

  • He can be counted on to be unmoving, unchanging and completely dependable.

“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.”

Psalm 71:3

  • He can be surprising.

But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you." Psalm 81:16

  • He can give you stability when life seems confusing.

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40: 2

  • He has the power to unpredictably, dynamically and favorably change my circumstances in an instant.

“... who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.” Psalm 114:8

  • He is my impenetrable fortress. Nothing can touch my life unless it comes through Him.

“My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.” Psalm 62:7

  • He lifts my sights higher, showing me how to soar above my trouble.

“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2

The above is just a sampling of scriptures that speak of our wonderful God. In the New Testament, this Rock is Jesus, who became human to demonstrate His utter trustworthiness in a way we could understand. Can we then do any less than respond with joy to the invitation below?

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”

Psalm 95:1

It is my prayer that each of you reading this will also find your place, as described in the verse below.

"There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock.” Ex 33:21

There like Moses, as we cleave to our special cleft of the Rock, we will discover the Glory that He desires for all mankind to experience.

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