Friday, September 07, 2007

Broken Pictures of Jesus

"I've been looking so long at these pictures of you, that I almost believe they are real."

That line from The Cure's song "Pictures of You" always nails me when I make Jesus the "You."

The wonderful church I pastored in a city that was over ninety percent non-white, had hung in the entrance

to the children's Sunday School building a classic painting if Jesus with the children.

Of course Jesus and the children were 100 per cent white.

This photo, taken in the Middle East, is just crying out for a caption. I fear that some traditional Christians might not get the punchline.

The photographer, Scott Bessenecker (tip:buy his book), of course has first rights on the best caption:

"Funny how those darned recessive genes just show up every once in a while in the oddest places!"

Calls to mind the suggested historically accurate
face of Jesus unveiled a few years ago in Popular Mechanics (and at right here)...For some reason I have not yet seen it on one church wall yet...especially since 9/11.
(Article: The Face of Jesus Unveiled in Popular Mechanics)

Finally, this viral video below that is making the internet rounds right now.. It's of a skit performed at a church, somewhere in America. Anyone who has been around charismatic circles can predict it from the first frame: Jesus and a teenager; teenager is tempted by evil peers/demons; at the last minute (To huge applause)
she sucessfully fights them off and returns to Jesus. I am not knocking the skit, I know God is using it. And I am thrilled it is acted out to a soundtrack of Lifehouse and not the usual Carman
(God love that guy...but Lifehouse moves my soul...likely because I am a whitie). Watch the clip, and then scroll to read below to see if your question is the same as mine.

My question:

Why are the heroes (Jesus and the teen) white, and the evil people/demons notably non-white?
How would that church (and my firmer church? my current church?)have responded if Jesus was black?

I am sure (?) it was not intentional. But it may be completely my fault. I let the painting of White Jesus hahaving a temple tantrumng too long in the Sunday School building. I never got around to having a temple tantrum and removing it. That would make it...sorta...accidentally...kinda...intentional.

Gee, how could I commit that sin..and at the same church where i failed an AIDS victim/leper?

Back to The Cure to cure this dis-ease of mine:

Looking so long at these pictures of you
but i never hold on to your heart
looking so long for the words to be true
but always just breaking
apart my pictures of you

there was nothing in the world
that i ever wanted more than to feel you deep in my heart
there was nothing in the world that i ever wanted more
than to never feel the breaking
apart all my pictures of you


  1. Hey Dave:

    Thanks for the link. It's amazing that stuff like this still slips through our grid and becomes OK. Thanks for helping to raise the question. Scott

  2. i am amazed others are not amazed..

    keep up the good work, Scott



Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!