La Petite Tombe
Rembrandt van Rijn
The Met NYC
Rembrandt’s etching has always enthralled me. The natural, comfortable setting of a gathering of people. Some sitting, some standing, some reclining. Some focused on Jesus, some staring into their thoughts. Some hiding in the shadows, some sitting in the light of Jesus’ teaching.
What is Jesus saying? Might it be “Whoever wants to become great must be a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slaves.” This is the beauty of Jesus’ life and teaching. This is what makes Jesus different from other historical, philosophical and religious figures. Jesus doesn’t just offer some good more teaching like Confucius, or practical advice for relationship success like Oprah. Jesus doesn’t just give a pattern-of-life to follow and emulate, like Buddha. Jesus also brings the power to change.
What was it that turned the disciples from a bunch of clueless, status seeking—let’s face it—normal people, into heroes of the faith? Into fearless witnesses prepared to lay down their lives to bring the gospel message to others? It is the fact that Jesus gives more than just an inspiring example to follow. Jesus gives his life as a “ransom”: an exchange for anyone who believes in him.
Holiness is judged on our closeness to God, not on our job, our vocation.
Someone pronounced that “all our problems stem from this one folly….not taking to heart the love of God for the undeserving.”
I invite you to CITF Sunday that we might gather together to celebrate that love of God and the way it is so wonderfully demonstrated through acts of kindness and care.
Holy One, teach us to serve as Jesus served, to love as Jesus loved. AMEN!