Let Me Draw You a Picture
Originally scheduled for December 10
Have you ever heard somebody tell you, “let me
draw you a picture.” They’re not offering to send something to you
by Leonardo da Vinci; it’s more likely to include stick figures and
happy faces. The technique, however, does have its usefulness. In
fact God seems to be rather fond of drawing us a picture. For
Moses and the Tabernacle is a great
instance of this. God provided Moses with a detailed set of plans in
the form of a picture, or as the modern versions put it, a template.
Sometimes God does this in the form
of living human beings who represent something. He was fond of doing
this in the Old Testament with the prophets (see Hosea, for
example.) Good example of this is in the Transfiguration. It teaches
us that Christ has supremacy over both life and death; life,
represented by Elijah who never died and death represented by Moses.
Sometimes he uses us as his picture.
In marriage, he has drawn on the living canvas of our bodies a
picture of Christ’s love for the church.
Why do you suppose God does this? Well, there
are a few simple reasons which he might use. For example:
Some of us are visual learners. You
can tell us what to do and we just don’t get it, but if you show us
what to do we get it the first time. Do you know anybody like that?
There is an aspect here too of
simplicity. If you want people to remember things well, keep them
simple. Pictures are simple.
There is also this: if it’s in the
picture, it’s important. So if you want to know what the small stuff
is in the big stuff is, look at the picture.
Communion is just such a picture. It is a
marvelous subject for art, as Leonardo da Vinci showed us. You can
take this to the top of the art world as a topic. But for most of
us, it is a simple picture with deep meaning. In the time of Christ,
the wine in the cup would almost certainly have been deep red. You
can imagine the disciples looking into the cup and seeing with the
mind’s eye the blood of Christ. Bread, too, resembles the body. A
loaf of bread baked in an oven often comes out with the same sort of
color that people have. So it is no wonder that the body and blood
of Christ are seen so clearly in the bread and wine of communion.
As St. Augustine once put it, “Feed on me, for
I am the food of a grown man.” In a simple picture you take in the
body and blood of Christ and thus become more like him. The old
saying, “You are what you eat” seems to be true spiritually as well
as physically. Remember, then, the meaning of this picture and the
price Christ paid to give it to you.