Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The Last Supper
When I was in high school, I used to cut class and get on the public bus, not hard to do living in suburban Washington, D.C. at the time, and go to the National Gallery of Art. I would look at many paintings and sculptures while I was there but would always have to stop and visit this one, the Last Supper, by surrealist Salvador Dali. At that time the oil paint had not yet begun to crackle on the canvas as it has now, my face also had not begun to crackle as it has now. The painting and I are aging together and still I get lost in the mystery of it. I shared the image, a paper reproduction, with my mentor pastor who pointed out that the theology of the painting was not accurate. Theology aside, I think it is the mystery the painting alludes to that draws my imagination now as it did when I was sixteen and tired of school. The mystery of one dead, rising again, the mystery of His body broken for me and for many for the forgiveness of all our sins: committed in the past, present and still to be done. I try to wrap my mind around the meaning of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me and in all of us who are in Christ, it is as overwhelming as trying to stand in the midst of the waves of the thundering ocean. In this painting I see Christ in all and through all, that is what it has meant to me. I hope you visit my favorite painting when you go to Washington D.C. The last time I was in the National Gallery of Art it was hanging on a wall as you came up a grand staircase. I hope you get to see it some day and are blessed.