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musings from linda 3/29/24

Many years ago, Michael and David walked into church one day… They  were new in town and were interested in attending our church and singing in the choir — AND — they both sang TENOR.  Be still, my beating heart!!!  (tenors always seem to be the scarcest of the 4 parts in a choir…) David worked in the business world and Michael was an artist.  He hung some of his paintings in our “gallery” at one point and our pastor, John Pelletier particularly admired his “religious” paintings.

 

“Do you have any more? “ asked John. 

 

John traveled to his home and from under his bed Michel pulled out a rolled-up canvas…


John loved it on sight… immediately bought it, had it stretched on a frame and hung it up in the church.

 

What painting is that? The painting of JESUS.   

 

It arrived to mixed reviews from folks in the congregation.  Some felt its power  — and loved it.  Others were dismayed by it… “ It looks as if he stopped before he was done?“  “It looks messy.”    “ It looks … well… kind of drippy.“  “It looks UNFINISHED…“

 

Precisely.

 

It is NOT one of the lovely, carefully done amazingly “perfect”  works depicting Jesus that artists for centuries have created… the colors are not particularly interesting and it is certainly not a masterpiece.  BUT — its message to us every Sunday is a POWERFUL one. 


In Michael’s painting, where are Jesus’ hands and feet?  Not there.   Every time we look at the painting, we are reminded that Jesus is counting on YOU and ME to be his hands and feet… He invites — encourages — begs — each of us to go out and BE the resurrection in 2024 — and beyond… to GO BE LOVE in the world!


 

The painting does look messy — but if we take being Jesus’ hands and feet seriously, the results are often “messy…” life IS messy, real loving IS messy — much as we would like it to be otherwise.


Teresa of Avila ( 1515-1582 ) is attributed with writing a stunning poem:


   Christ has no body now but yours.

      No hands, no feet on earth but yours.

   Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.

      Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.

   Yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world.

      Yours are the hands.

      Yours are the feet.

      Yours are the eyes,

      You are his body.

   Christ has no body now but yours.

 

On Good Friday, Kwamena Blankson will sing a beautifully poignant version of this song (Click here to listen) and on Easter Sunday, he will sing a joyful version using the same words (click here to listen) while his daughter MaryAmma interprets the text in dance.

 

As we listen, we will also be looking up into the eyes of the amazing image of Jesus which Pastor Heather created last week within our tree of life at the front of the sanctuary.  Being surrounded by the two images of Jesus is doubly powerful…

 

During Lent each year, we are encouraged to contemplate taking on a new challenge in our spiritual journey… Now that Easter has arrived, Jesus is asking us to do the same.



How will experiencing the Resurrection in 2024 make a difference in the way I live my life?   How will it make a difference in YOURS???

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