Friday, September 30, 2011

Here's Looking at You

This week I was daydreaming about the wonderful city of Florence. Not the one in South Carolina. Florence, Italy, is a gem of a city, with so many interesting facets. It is the home of Renaissance art.

One afternoon while in Florence I enjoyed visiting the Galleria degli Uffizi, a huge museum with an overwhelming collection of magnificent Renaissance art. One piece by Jacopo Pontormo pictured at left shows the risen Lord breaking bread with the disciples in Emmaus. It is titled, “Supper at Emmaus.” You can see the eye of God painted above Christ’s head, which art historians say was a later addition. I have no clue why someone would change this masterpiece, but there it is.

The symbol of the eye of God is an interesting one. The eye symbolizes the omniscience and omnipresence of God, who watches over all things. It is also associated with the Trinity (hence the triangle shape around the eye).

I wonder if the artist who doctored the painting with the eye of God was depicting a belief unique to the Christian faith? It’s hard to comprehend the paradox of a God who is beyond our comprehension and full knowledge, and yet came to us in Jesus Christ and is with us even now through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I like the thought that God keeps his eye on us, just as he does the sparrow. I take comfort in thinking that he can’t take his eyes off of us, because he loves us so much. Hope to see you this Sunday as we break bread together with our brothers and sisters around the world.

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