“The portrait of Christ is to be painted again on the ordinary canvas of our lives.” —John Howard Yoder
What is it like to be face to face with Jesus? What do we find when we encounter Him?
Artists of every age and culture have tried to capture the face of Jesus. But it is with an artist’s insight that Yoder recognizes the best medium on which to paint the extraordinary beauty of Jesus is the very ordinariness of our lives – for it is not the canvas that is the object of our viewing… it is the face of Jesus Himself.
In this theme, Julie Canlis writes a remarkable little booklet titled, “A Theology of the Ordinary.” She notes at long last there is a cultural “weariness with the cult of extraordinariness.” She observes,
“The Spirit’s primary ministry in us is an identity-forming ministry, calling us to trust in God’s fatherly goodness and allowing us to cease from perfectionism and performance. All the other miraculous signs that the Spirit can and does work in us pale in comparison to this!
When we live our lives as ordinary persons, we become an extraordinary picture to the world of what we were intended to be: God and humanity united together in heart and purpose.”
With this mind, it is helpful to see how The Message crafts the translation of Romans 12:1:
So here’s what I want you do do. God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
As we go through the Face to Face with Jesus series, may this be the portrait of Christ painted on the ordinary canvas of our lives. May we see Him as He is, and reflect His beauty.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. —I Corinthians 13:12
Introduction to the
Face to Face with Jesus Teaching Series