Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas

Caravaggio's - The Incredulity of Saint Thomas 
painted by Adam Moser.
(formerly of Conover, NC 
and now in Portland, Oregon)

Adam made the painting 
and added his own hand
 into the side of Jesus.
This painting hangs in the hallway at
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church 
in Springfield, Virginia.
It was purchased to start a 
Visual Worship Traveling Show
 for the  LCMS Southeastern District.

Been thinking about 
"Doubting Thomas" 
all week since  
the recent lectionary reading
 of John 20: 24-30.

A bit about this painting:
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas 
is a painting by the 
Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, 
painted 1601-1602.
It is housed in the Sanssouci Palace, 
now a museum, 
in Potsdam, Berlin, Germany.
It shows the episode that gave rise
 to the term "Doubting Thomas", 
which has been frequently represented 
in Christian art since at least the 5th century.
Thomas missed one of Jesus's appearances 
to the Apostles after His resurrection, 
and said "Unless I see the mail marks
 in his hands and put my finger 
where the nails were, 
and put my hand into his side, 
I will not believe it."
A week later Jesus appeared and told Thomas
 to touch Him and stop doubting. 
Then Jesus said, "Because you have seen me, 
you have believed; 
blessed are those who have not seen
 and yet have believed." John 20:29
In the painting, Thomas's face shows surprise 
as Jesus holds his hand 
and guides it into the wound. 
The absence of a halo emphasizes 
the corporeality of the risen Christ.
 Verses 30-31 states, "And truly Jesus
 did many other signs
 in the presence of His disciples, 
which are not written in this book,
that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, 
the son of God, and that believing 
you may have life in His name."

When I pass by this painting, 
I mentally place my hand 
right there touching the side of Jesus.
Somehow this is very comforting
 in my disciple walk.
The gentle closeness of Jesus to Thomas
 brings intimate HOPE.

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