After reading The News article concerning the updating of the image of Christ for the millennium, a question came to mind. Why?
Why should we modernize the image of Christ? He is the same yesterday, today and always. First and foremost, Jesus was a Jew, and our image of him should be historically accurate. History is always obscured when someone tries to enhance it with their own vision instead of dealing with the facts.
There is nothing wrong with Jesus being represented as all-inclusive. In fact, there is a beautiful work of art, "In His Image," by William Zdinak, which displays all people of color making up the image of Christ. The message is clearly displayed: God dwells in all of us and he loves everyone.
The millennium image looks like a young Jimmy Hendrix, and I doubt anyone would guess it was Christ. When we see family values being trivialized, violence being glorified and now Jesus being packaged in a more modern image, is it any wonder the world is in the state it is in? There is no differentiation from reality and the abstract, truth from lies, good from evil.
The fact is The National Catholic Reporter selected its winner of the millennium contest to modernize the image of Christ.
It was chosen by a 69-year-old British nun, Wendy Beckett, and at first glance depicts Jesus as an African-American. The model for the portrait was a woman and the artist, Janet McKenzie, is a devout agnostic.
This all sounds like a bad joke -- it is!