God, The Great Iconoclast…

… breaking the imaginations of men for a couple of thousand years now (at least a couple).

Every image of God that men devised prior to the birth of Christ was shattered in Bethlehem. 

Jesus, the God Man, is the image of the invisible God and he is nothing like the icons of our fathers.  By and large, they were looking for a bone crushing king.  One who would snap the arms of Rome, Syria, Egypt and a host of other Gentile nations and suck the marrow from the shards.  Jesus was gentle and possessed meekness that surpassed even Moses.  The God of the Universe was a baby at his mother’s breast and grew up in wisdom as well as stature, like any child would.  Jesus smashed the icons of our imagination.

As Jesus started His earthly ministry the icons seemed to reform themselves in the minds of even his closest friends and family.   They see the God-Man and they attempt to mold Him into a respectable god.  “Jesus, would you do something about the wine,” His mother asked…  “Lord, do you want us to call down fire on this inhospitable Samaritan rabble,” so asks James and the disciple whom Jesus loved.   God forbid that Jesus should go to a cross!  Peter would dress Him down right and proper…  The Jesus who stood before them was not the God of their desiring.

How often have we taken hammer and chisel to God, fashioning Him into a God of our own?  C.S. Lewis, examining his own iconodulism, said this while mourning for his wife:

Images, I must suppose, have their use or they would not have been so popular. (It makes little difference whether they are pictures or statues outside the mind or imaginative constructions within it.) To me, however, their danger is more obvious. Images of the Holy easily become holy images – sacrosanct. My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of his presence? The incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins. And most are ‘offended’ by the iconoclasm; and blessed are those who are not. – A Grief Observed

May you be blessed.

al sends


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