Sunday, August 26, 2012

Swedish Jesus

"Her second gift that year was a very romantic, today I would call it schmaltzy, picture of Jesus, which I hung on the wall above the headboard of my bed so that Jesus could literally watch over me while I was sleeping. This portrait was of a northern European Jesus displaying fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes, and it came complete with both a heavenly light illumining his face and a halo, or at least a nimbus, around his head. I am confident that it was from this portrait that I got the impression that Jesus, far from being a Jew, must have been a Swede. With his picture dominating my room, the activity of singing in church every Sunday and my commitment to the daily reading of my new Bible until I had read it in its entirety, I became an unquenchable religious seeker at the age of twelve." ~ Bishop John Shelby Spong