"Send out Your light and Your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling." Psalm 43:3

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Williams: 'A new human community becomes possible'

(this post is part 1 of a series - part 2,  part 3)

I've been enjoying The Dwelling of the Light: Praying with Icons of Christ, by Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.  The book consists of reflections on four of the most well known icons of our Lord: the Transfiguration, the Resurrection, 'the Hospitality of Abraham' (Christ as one of the eternal Trinity), and Christ Pantocrator (ruler and judge of the world). I highly recommend it, and look forward to reading more of Williams.

As we near the end of this Eastertide, I offer the following excerpts from Williams' reflection over the icon of the Resurrection.  In this depiction of Christ's victory over death, Williams sees a victory that bridges our human walls of division, gives living meaning to the witness of the Bible, and redeems and reconciles the whole created order.  In this and the next couple of posts, I'll briefly share some of his insights, beginning with how Christ liberates we "compulsive dividers ... (who) deny ourselves the life God is eager to give."
"Christ stands on a precarious-looking bridge, as if he is the one who by the great risks and pains of his incarnation connects what we have pulled apart.  And in those icons where we see him reaching out simultaneously to Adam and Eve, it is as if he is reintroducing them to each other after the ages of alienation and bitterness that began with the recriminations of Genesis.  The resurrection is a moment in which human beings are reintroduced to each other across the gulf of mutual resentment and blame; a new human community becomes possible.  And similarly, remembering the other figures from the first covenant in the background of the picture, we realize that this community is unaffected by any division between the living and the dead: David and Solomon, Abraham, Moses, Elijah and Isaiah are our contemporaries because of Jesus' resurrection."  


No comments:

Post a Comment