Thursday, April 21, 2011

Christ - Random Thoughts, Part 2

Jesus told His disciples:
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."  -Matthew 5:14-16
I fall far short of that, my light often being only an uncertain flicker in the winds of impatience, selfishness, and other ugliness that obscures the flame. I am thankful, though, that -- despite human frailty, rebellion, and outright disbelief -- He will never be truly obscured. Like the moon to the sun, we can only reflect His light; we will never diminish it.

Recently, I went to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, home of The Great Passion Play, and the site of the Christ of the Ozarks, a blockish and simple-looking statue that can -- despite a controversial history -- move a person to deep reflection. The power is in the eyes, a gaze that's almost alive.

The day I took the photo below, the wind was tossing the trees, but I kept fiddling with the camera, trying (unsuccessfully) for an artistic shot. However, despite the wind, the branches parted long enough to frame the statue's face.

Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, Arkansas                        c. 2011, KB
No, I do not worship an image, nor do I know the actual features in the face of Christ. Yet, sitting on the bench under the awning, and gazing up the slope directly into that impassive and yet challenging visage, I felt a lump rise up in my throat, and tears gathered at the corners of my eyes.

Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, Arkansas                        c. 2011, KB
In line of that gaze, I sensed a little of what Peter must have felt, looking into the face of Jesus after denying -- even cursing -- Him. Yet He looked on him with compassion.

I am forever amazed at the cross, at what He did for me. I, a coward when it comes to pain I know is on the way, cannot fathom His choosing to go through such agony that I might be free.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."  -Romans 8:1,2
Todd Burrows posted this awesome video using scenes from The Passion of the Christ to illustrate the song Didn't He, performed by Geoff Moore, an artist whose songs the teenaged and twenty-something me belted out while listening to them on the radio. Didn't He still gets me every time, with good reason:

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