St. Mary's Anglican Catholic Church

Diocese of the Midwest

The Second Commandment deals not only with "graven images" but also with problems associated with how we imagine or conceive of God in our minds. This is certainly true of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ, as well. The most beloved images we have of our Lord relate to His nativity or birth-story. That image is held in contempt in much of this dark world. It is also abused by believers as well. We associate comfort and joy with the picture of the babe in the manger; but we are much less at ease with some of the images of God His Father in the Old Testament. We also have trouble with scenes from the life of that son of man born at Bethlehem after He grew to manhood.  We think of Jesus as gentle, meek, and mild; but this same  Jesus also
 cleansed the Temple of hucksters (St Mark 11:15-17; St John 2:14-16), rebuked the religious leaders of His day in very sharp terms (St Matthew 23), and cursed a fig tree as a sign of judgment that would one day fall on Jerusalem and later the world (St Mark 11:12-14; 20-26). Like His Father, Jesus displayed both forgiveness and holiness, compassion and power, patience and judgment. We think of God as love (St John 4:8), as indeed He is; but we are less comfortable with God as light that shines in the darkness and shows us what is there, even in the dark recesses of our hearts. (St John 1:4-5, 9; 1 St John 1:5-7) We must beware not to allow the comfortable image we have of the child born at Bethlehem to obscure through sentimentality the bright and penetrating light that began to shine there. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.(2 Corinthians4:6)