The Faces of Jesus

You know how it is. You read a quote which somehow resonates with you. In this case:

In his holy flirtation with the world, God occasionally drops a handkerchief. These handkerchiefs are called saints.

The quote is by Frederick Buechner. I even wrote it in my Quote Journal at the time. And then I put his name into Amazon and looked to see what he had written. Quite a lot, as it happens. One book caught my eye: The Faces of Jesus.  I ordered a secondhand copy from America and it arrived and I was busy and it got put on the shelf. All because I read a quote that I liked. (You can tell from this that I am an impulse shopper.)

The book is a series of paintings, icons, mosaics, carvings of the face of Jesus.  They cover the Annunciation, Nativity, Ministry, Last Supper, Crucifixion and Resurrection. The text accompanying the pictures is by Frederick Buechner and he comments on the images, finding things that the casual onlooker might miss. There are some stunning images and some perhaps not quite to my taste, but I have really enjoyed reading the book and taking time to reflect on the art.

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9 thoughts on “The Faces of Jesus

  1. that’s fabulous —

    I’ve always love the image of the hem of God’s garment filling the temple — and now that image of swirling abundance is being capped by a hand causally trailing various of our pisky saints by the scruff of their copes, before dropping them gently in place.

    (a very mixed metaphor, but perhaps you can ‘see’ it anyway)

  2. Hi,

    A rather wonderful image but one big problem with your description. There are no pisky saints. There are Saints of the Catholic and Orthodox calendars but the Pisky church has always claimed to be part of the Catholic Church and it has ( or should I say had ) no teaching of its own.

  3. ah, but aren’t we all, as God’s people ‘saints’…. In that context then Piskies can be saints – and even us crusty Presbies 😉
    I draw to your attention that marvellous hymn by the deliciously named Lesbia Scott – do spiders count as ‘fierce wild beasts’, I think they do?! And I do know numerous Pisky queens… : )

    1. I sing a song of the saints of God,
    patient and brave and true,
    who toiled and fought and lived and died
    for the Lord they loved and knew.
    And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
    and one was a shepherdess on the green;
    they were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
    God helping, to be one too.

    2. They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
    and his love made them strong;
    and they followed the right for Jesus’ sake
    the whole of their good lives long.
    And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
    and one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
    and there’s not any reason, no, not the least,
    why I shouldn’t be one too.

    3. They lived not only in ages past;
    there are hundreds of thousands still.
    The world is bright with the joyous saints
    who love to do Jesus’ will.
    You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
    in church, by the sea, in the house next door;
    they are saints of God, whether rich or poor,
    and I mean to be one too.

    • Hi,

      A typical presbyterian maistake. The people of God as saints is quite different from the Saints of the Churches calendar but as presbys dont recognise the Cathoic calendar or the saints of the Church it doesnt really matter. Nice hymn. Presbys have no priests. There is no sacrifice as they have a different understanding of the Eucharist. I cant imagine that the hymn was written by one of them or for them.

    • a youtube clip… you will sooo know this tune. We used to sing it in St C’s. Mind you, the hymn book was the official Uniting Church in Australia hymnary… which I did think was a little bizarre!!!

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