The Radio Times arrived this morning. It, as you might expect, features football. There is a pull-out that lists all the Euro 2012 fixtures so you can fill in the results as you go along. It’s the sort of thing I remember getting in comics when I was a lad!
However, I am rambling on about it now because the pictures of the footballers are quite striking (no pun intended) They are all frozen in action, which means this: they are moving; they are in poses where if they were stood still, they would fall down – in other words they are unbalanced; where they are looking and where they are going are quite separate – in other words they seem surprised and distracted at the same time.
The way we picture our players does not bode well, does it! And yet they are the poses we want to see them in. They are meant to be inspiring. I suppose they are the modern version of sculpture, but using Photoshop rather than Chisel.
While I was away in Harrogate, Alan Hirsch took us through the gallery of pictures of Jesus. We had ‘Spooky Jesus,’ ‘Buddy Jesus,’ ‘Bearded-Lady Jesus’ and ‘Sunday School Jesus.’ You might want to Google Jesus, and see if you recognise the which images belong to which label. All are heretical, in that they try to make Jesus someone he is not. Neither is he summed up by saying he is our ‘SuperHero’ or our ‘Best Friend.’
Every image has the potential to be idolatrous, which is why it is a Mosaic prohibition to make them. You have to realise they are never the full story, and you can’t cling to them.
Our footballers are performers. Let’s hope they click, and enjoy using their skills to wow and entertain.
Jesus is the Word of God, he that communicates the Father in a way that transforms. He a performer – or better a transformer. Tranformation is an on-going process, we remain in the hands of the Holy Spirit. As Paul said, how we shall appear we only have an inkling of, but we are being fashioned. Sculpted or Photoshopped, it doesn’t matter – but the Holy Spirit must be allowed to be the artist.
So, if you look unbalanced, confused, surprised, distracted, take it as a sign of work-in-progress. Didn’t somebody make the point so well recently that we are half-baked…