Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In His Image

I have to comment on this.  Last night, a huge storm blew threw SW Ohio.  There was lightning, thunder, rain, and sightings of funnel clouds.  At 3:37 AM this morning I get a text message stating that TD Jesus was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.

For those of you who are not familiar with Touchdown Jesus, it is a huge statue, 62 feet high that shows Jesus from his torso up, his arms stretched toward the heavens.  It cost over $250,000 to construct.  It is on Yahoo.com today.  It sits beside I-75 on the northbound side. 

The church, The Solid Rock Church, is a non-demoninational church that owns the property that the statue sat on and financed it.  It is a lot of things to our community and I am in no way putting it down or saying that I believe it is something that it is not.  There have been stories done on this statue about people who saw this statue as a sign from God when they were at their lowest.  Others have made money off it as a song and it has been a joke for some.  Heywood Banks wrote a song called "Sweet Butter Jesus" because he saw it and thought it looked like a big statue of butter. 

The community is just waking up to this news and wondering what the church will do next.  The controversy will heat up again.  Is it right to have an image of Jesus that big?  Is it a graven image?  Is it really hurting anything?  Is it something that we really need to worry about or is it just a work of art?

I admired the vision and the art work of this.  I also laughed at the song.  I won't lie, it has been a conversation piece and a landmark that I have used.  I know that this statue of Jesus is someone's interpretation of what they think Jesus looks like.  The Bible uses character descriptions, not physical descriptions for the most part.  Sometimes it is noted that someone is hairy or strong or small, but mostly about what they are like as a person.  So seeing pictures of Jesus as a kind man, with long hair and a peaceful expression is fine.  It may give you a sense of happiness, it may let a child know that they need not be frightened, and the person down on his luck may need that friend.  So as a work of art or an image of Jesus, I think as long as we remember that it is someone's interpretation and not something to look to or pray to for guidance, it is fine.

Genesis 1:26-27
 26Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
 27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

We are made in the image of God.  We are called to rule over this earth.  We all in some way look like God.  I'll bet Adam looked the most like God.  In the book I am still reading (yes, Barb I am still reading it), The Shack, the main character, Mac is looking at the stars with Jesus.  He looks over and Jesus and says something like, 'you aren't what I expected you to look like.'  Jesus responds with, 'what, I'm not as beautiful as you thought I'd be? My family has big noses.'  (That's definitely a paraphrase, but you get the gist).  That made me think.  We always say that no one knows what Jesus looked like.  But I think secretly we all have our own idea of his image and what we want him to look like. But it probably won't be like that in heaven.  Just like with our offspring.  I never expected Timm to have blonde hair as a toddler.  Now, his hair is becoming darker and darker every year.  Allie is taller than I had anticipated and has the prettiest hair and eyes.  She looks a lot like her sister, Jaci.  With your own children, you never know where their looks come from, but you love them with all your hearts.

So don't worry about the statue.  It will be torn down or replaced.  Maybe it is close to the looks of Christ.  We won't know until he comes back.

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