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The Transfiguration on the Mountain (Mt.17:1-13)

The Transfiguration on the Mountain (Mt.17:1-13)

Each era has its own images of Christ.  Each of these images has its own one-sidedness, but maybe together they form the whole truth.  In the first few centuries of Christianity there were only symbols of abundant life and trust: the fish, the anchor, the shepherd.  Only in the third century the countenance of Christ was depicted for the first time—the countenance of the Risen One.  When humanity was wrestling with questions about death, He appeared in countless representations as the Crucified One—the Man of Sorrows.  And when there was nothing left but materialism, His image was reduced to Jesus, the simple carpenter from Nazareth.

Not long ago, a new image appeared, something that had not been seen in the history of Christianity before.  In a short time, this picture became famous and went over the whole world.  It is the sculpture of a poor man, a drifter, who is lying on a bench in the open air, covered with a coat.  Only his bare, wounded feet betray who he is.  “Homeless Jesus” is the title of this artwork.  This image tells us what we did to Him: in our society there was no place for Him anymore.  He has been banished from our daily life.  What can we do in our time to give Him a place where He is at home?

HOMELESS JESUS, TIMOTHY SCHMETZ, 2013

Only once in His life on earth Christ showed Himself in His true form, in the overwhelming appearance of His Transfiguration on the mountain.  When this image disappeared, the Father gave us a task for all time with the words: “This is my Son whom I love.  In Him I have been revealed.  Hear His word!”

Christ is no longer visible on earth.  He leads a hidden, occult existence.  But we can hear Him through the words He spoke, words that want to be weighed in our heart until our heart is moved by them.  Or by the still voice in us, the Christ voice of conscience.  Then we begin to walk with Him, and He with us.  If we listen to His voice, He will find a place on earth where He can live.

 

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, February 28, 2021

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