Originally scheduled for July 7
When I was a child one of the things which
puzzled me was the fact that paintings didn’t always reflect what a
photograph would pick up. It was curious to me that a painter would
paint something that wasn’t exactly photographic in quality. But as
I grew older I realized that painting — and for that matter of fact
photography — are not necessarily best when they exactly replicate
something. I thought of paintings as something to tell you what
somewhere looked like. As I grew older I realized that paintings
weren’t meant to be a substitute for a police ID picture. If you
want an example of that, look at the picture on your driver’s
license. It may identify you but it doesn’t do what a good picture
does — because a good picture or painting tells a story.
Let me give you an example of this. One of the
members of our Bible class graciously volunteered to be our
photographer. Like many classes, we have a board that shows the
pictures of all the people in the class. New members particularly
appreciate this, because you can’t memorize all the faces and names
in one weekend.
One particular Sunday he had the camera with
him and took a very interesting picture.
it shows neither my face nor my wife’s face, but it is an excellent
picture of the two of us. It is fashionable among the liberated
women at our church that they would not be seen holding their
husband’s hand; this picture shows the two of us holding hands in
church. We didn’t plan it this way, but it’s our counter-testimony
(without words) to that fashion.
More than that, the picture tells a story. You
can learn a lot from looking at someone’s hands. You can see the
washed dishes, the tears that were dried and perhaps even the
comfort in time of sorrow. Most of all it is a picture that says
“us” rather than “me and me.” The picture tells a story; a love
Communion is a picture too. Look at it this
The bread is a picture of Christ’s
broken body, nailed to the cross.
The cup is his blood; by his
bloodshed we are given eternal life.
It’s not a photograph; it’s not a police ID;
it’s a picture. It’s a picture that tells a story, as it should.
That story is about our sin and God’s great love for us. So great
was his love that he sent his only begotten son to us for the
specific purpose of dying as our atonement. Like all great pictures
it requires you to be involved. Great pictures cannot be ignored,
but must be experienced. Great pictures tell a story if only you
Communion tells a story. A love story.