Census 2010 T-shirt
You find the oddest things sometimes in the woods. Things left behind, discarded, uncared for, broken, abandoned. Here are a few recent ones I have found here and there. I find them evocative and beautiful, in their own way. We are all broken, to one degree or another, but beautiful in our brokenness.
The Resurrection of Christ, by Matthias Grunewald
Here, I present to you my favorite depiction of the Resurrection, by Matthias Grunewald, one of the great German painters of his time. Not originally a free-standing painting, it was part of the Isenheim Altarpiece, a tour de force of Northern Renaissance painting. I have never seen it in person, only in reproduction, but even in reproduction, it has powerful impact: Christ emerging with blinding light and color, the Roman soldiers prostrate upon the ground.
Khan Academy's website describes the Altarpiece as the most fantastically weird artistic production of Renaissance Christianity, "Christ is wreathed in orange, red and yellow body haloes and rises like a streaking fireball... " I couldn't put it better myself.
None of the Gospel writers describe the actual event of the Resurrection. None of them were there to see it happen. They tell us of the aftermath, the encounters with Jesus. Perhaps the most tender meeting occurs in the Book of John, with Mary Magdalen. "Woman, why are you crying?" He asks her, as she mistakes him for the gardener. Then, when he calls her by name, she recognizes him and cries out "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). And perhaps the strangest moment occurs a week later, when He appears to the disciples and commands Thomas, who had not believed He had risen, to reach out his hand and put it into the wound in his side. "Stop doubting and believe." In the painting, Grunewald shows the marks in the hands and feet, the wound in the side. Even in His Resurrection, Christ still bears his wounds, the signs of his sacrifice.
Today, April 12th, 2020, we attended Easter worship service via livestream. Our church has not met physically for a month, even though here in Texas, churches are exempt from the state orders regarding social distancing. Our church leadership responsibly decided that, to protect the most vulnerable among us, we would be meeting virtually, not physically. A different Easter for us all, but Easter, nevertheless.