Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
November 11, 2020
I follow someone on Instagram who can begin with a black-and-white photograph, or a carved marble bust, and bring them to life using sophisticated computer-aided technology.
The first time this artist came to my notice was when he applied this process in order to portray an authentic, color likeness of some of our nations’ founding fathers. He chose Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin. Using what are considered by historians to be the most accurate sculptures of these illustrious persons, he added warmth and life to the marble, by his skill.
So there you are, looking at a photo of the bust of Washington, and, as you look, it morphs into a person with flesh and blood and detail. While you watch, Washington goes from some remote figure in a book or on coinage, to someone who, if you saw him walking down the street, would be recognizable as himself, and would fit right into any gathering today.
Fascinated, I could not stop with those three. I wanted more. So I saw a wide range of people, famous as Julius Caesar, or obscure as somebody’s great-grandparents, take on all of the vividness of being there before me.
In many ways, that is what the church is called to do, with regard to our Lord Jesus Christ. We are called to make Him real to those around us. To take the best of what we know of Him, whether from stained glass or paintings or the pages of Scripture, and bring these into our world of the here and now.
Here is the other insight I gained from this Instagram account. I have no idea what the artist looks like. And that corresponds to our calling as Christians, as well. People do not need to focus their attention on us, as long as we do all we can to draw their attention to our Living Lord.
The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church
About Dr. Dalles
Read more about Dr. Dalles.
Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.
About By God’s Side
Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes By God’s Side, a weekly series of inspirational reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles, to support you in your spiritual journey. These pastoral messages appear in the blog section of the church website each week. (Our weekly e-newsletter includes an excerpt to remind you to read along with us regularly; click here to subscribe to the e-newsletter if you do not already receive it.) We hope this regular feature will help you to draw closer to God’s side in your life of faith.
Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.