A Picture Can Be Worth A Thousand Words

A Picture Can Be Worth A Thousand Words

I wrote this in Paris, France, though we are home now. My wife and I were blessed on this trip. Last Sunday, we saw two remarkable things. They have to do with Christian faith and with the Bible, and so I will mention them here.

First of all in Paris we went to a museum called the Petit Palais, where we saw a collection of icons from countries like Greece, Crete, Bulgaria, and Russia. (An icon is a very beautiful picture that is revered because of its message in the Greek or Russian Orthodox churches.) Some of them were about saints many of us have never heard of, but the majority were pictorial representations of Biblical events: the birth of Jesus, his showing his wisdom to the religious leaders in the temple when he was 12, his raising of his friend Lazarus from the dead, the last supper, his crucifixion, his resurrection, and his ascension into heaven.

Then we went somewhere else in Paris to see more icons. It just so happened that the Russians have built a huge Russian orthodox church on the banks of the Seine River, and it also has a cultural center. There was there also another collection of Russian icons that had come from all over Russia to Paris to be shown. We just happened to be there for it and to have read about it online. There was a sense of reverence in this place. We saw beautiful icons with many of the same themes I have mentioned. We also saw an icon depicting Elijah going up into heaven in a chariot, the beheading of John the Baptist, and the event which seems to be described in First Peter 3: 19 where Jesus descends into hell and preaches the good news between his death and resurrection (See also Ephesians 4:8-10)
We found both of these displays of religious, especially Biblical, pictures (icons) to be an inspiring way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I also thought of this. In 1949, the year I was born, people probably would have said that Christianity was finished in Communist Russia and shortly after that they would have said the same about Communist China. Today there is a revival of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, although unfortunately, there is persecution of Protestants. Today there may be up to 100 million Christians in China, unfortunately also along with persecution.

There is always a struggle going on for believers, but God is not dead! He is alive and on the move.

Winfield Casey Jones can be reached at wrjones2002@gmail.com.

The Resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus (Crete),Musee du Petit Palais, Paris


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