Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 289- A Vulcan First

I was in Birmingham today visiting a friend who had surgery.  While I was there, I thought about the Vulcan statute in Birmingham. All I knew was that it was a tall statute that Birmingham was famous for.  I visited the Vulcan statute and museum for my "first" today.

I found out that Vulcan is the Roman fire god.  Birmingham chose this as a symbol for the city because of the booming steel and mining industry.  The Vulcan statute is 56 feet tall and is the largest cast iron statute in the world.  It is also the largest statute ever cast in the United States. The Vulcan weighs 101,200 pounds; over 50 tons.  It was built in 1904.  Giuseppe Moretti accepted the challenge of being the creator of this great statute.  The work started in an unfinished church in New Jersey where a model was made mostly out of clay. From that, it was coated in plaster.  When the plaster dried, it was cut in half and the clay and wood interior was removed to make a mold to pour the iron into.  It was shipped to Birmingham in pieces before the work of casting the iron to make the statute. Once the mold were prepared and shipped to Birmingham, the workers there worked diligently to complete the work in just a few months so that it would be ready to be on exhibit at the World's Fair in St. Louis where it was awarded the grand prize of the exposition. Of course, the work was much more complicated than that, but that is a very quick synopsis of what I learned today. It is quite an accomplishment.  I cannot really get it straight in my mind how this was accomplished in 1904.

The statute sits atop a tall building that you can go up and look out over the city of Birmingham.  The nice lady told me that I could climb the stairs or ride the elevator. I chose the elevator.  Today was a clear, beautiful fall day and the view was absolutely gorgeous.  After that, I walked through the museum part of of the park and learned much about the city and the Vulcan.  It was quite the interesting and informative "first."

Sign in elevator; made me a bit nervous

Lovce the church steeple in this view

As I looked at the Vulcan and toured the museum, a Bible verse came to mind. It is Philippians 2: 9-11, "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,   and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  While I am not desiring or trying to be critical of this great statute of the Roman fire god Vulcan, I was reminded that Jesus Christ is Lord over all. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.  While the Vulcan statute is seriously impressive, Jesus is eternally more impressive.  The Vulcan is big, tall, and heavy, and yet the Bible says that all things were created by Jesus, through Jesus, and for Jesus.  Beyond that, the Vulcan is a symbol for the city of Birmingham.  Jesus is a living God who loves you, cares for you, knows your name, died for you, and rose again from the dead for you.  I am pretty sure that nobody in Birmingham or anywhere else in Alabama is tempted to worship the Vulcan. However,  we are tempted to give other things the place of God in our lives.  We can allow things like money, sports, family, career, the way we look, or what people think about us control us and become like a god to us.  I encourage you to look higher; look to Jesus.  There is a hunger in all of our lives that only Jesus can fill.  He can and wants to fill your heart with Himself.

Bowing to Jesus in the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Creativity
2. Artists
3. Jesus is a living Lord

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