Pastoral Reflections- Pastor Bruce Zimmermann, pastor, Christ Lutheran Church Gladbrook, Iowa
October 3, 2013
In recent years artist Richard Hook painted many religious pictures for use in Sunday school lessons. One of his best-known paintings is a close-up of Jesus. Instead of looking serious, Jesus’ face looks lighthearted, his hair uncombed. He looks as if he had just finished playing ball rather than crying over Jerusalem. Maybe this is the impression the artist wants us to have. For Jesus shares not only in our troubles and sorrows but also in our fun and joy. He is our friend. So he goes with us when we are romping across the school playground as well as when we are praying in church. He is such a good friend that he wants to take part in everything we do – our hymn singing and our games, our crying and our smiling. Don’t you think Jesus enjoys a good smile? He created the smile. And he has done so much to make us mile. He gave his life for us. When we are enjoying his blessings and friendship, surely he must smile and his eyes must dance – just as Richard Hook pictures him. There are times, of course, when Jesus can’t smile. Because he is our friend, he must be sad when we do or think or say things he can’t take part in. When we sin, we leave him out. And that must make him very sad. For he knows we are hurting ourselves and possible some of his other friends as well. So those people who picture Jesus as being sad may be right. It all depends, doesn’t it? Jesus knows how both to smile and to frown. He much prefers to smile, though. He never tires of forgiving and blessing us as our Savior. Will you give your friend something to smile about ?
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