St Andrew, Glencairn

Glencairn Methodist Church

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April 2010


Images of Easter

The digital revolution has certainly had a big impact on photography. Nearly everyone has a digital compact. Some - mentioning no names - have several! And real photographers have DSLRs. (Only kidding!) Photography is certainly now very popular and hard discs on PCs and Internet social networking sites like FaceBook are slowly clogging up with 10Mb JPGs and video clips.

I wonder what difference it would have made if digital cameras had been available in 33 AD (or thereabouts)? Would the disciples have captured images of the Crucifixion of Jesus? The Press would certainly have done it even if they did not.  But what about the Resurrection? Would Mary Magdalene have thought about bringing her camera to the tomb on the Sunday morning? And if she had, would she have had the presence of mind to take a snap of Jesus in the garden? Would the disciples in the upper room have taken a picture to email to Thomas to let him know that Jesus was alive? Would the two on the road to Emmaus have photographed the stranger who walked and talked with them and shared a meal with them? Probably not.

By the time of the Ascension, they may have been sufficiently comfortable with the risen Jesus to photograph his departure. But then the critics and sceptics would have cried " Foul - digital tomfoolery!"

So perhaps it is as well for Christians that we do not have photographs of those momentous times. What we have instead and which are infinitely more valuable are the word pictures created by the New Testament writers describing the experiences of the disciples. Mary's mistaken identity and then that indescribable, heart stopping  moment when Jesus spoke to her and she recognised him. The boys in the upper room. Sacred out of their wits. Not knowing what to believe. And then, there he was!  And the two on the Emmaus road experiencing sudden recognition in the "breaking of the bread".  And Thomas seeing for himself. These human experiences are the things that people believe in.

Thank God for the word pictures bequeathed to us in the New Testament.


4 April -  2010


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