Thorvaldsen_ChristusWhat does Christmas mean to you?
For many, it’s only about buying, giving, receiving and… returning gifts.
For any who’ve stood inside John Hopkin’s Billings Administrative Building, they’ve never forget the sculpture at the entrance, a replica of a magnificent statue of Jesus by the noted sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen.
The original stands in a cathedral in Copenhagen, Denmark. When Thorvaldsen first completed the sculpture he gazed upon the finished product with great satisfaction. It was a sculpture of Christ with His face looking upward and arms extended upward. It was a statue of a majestic, conquering Christ. Later that night, however, after the sculptor had left his fine new work in clay to dry and harden something unexpected occurred. Sea mist seeped into the studio in the night. The clay did not harden as quickly as anticipated. The upraised arms and head of the sculpture began to drop. The majestic Christ with arms lifted up and head thrown back was transformed into a Christ with head bent forward and arms stretched downward as if in a pose of gentle invitation. At first Thorvaldsen was bitterly disappointed. As he studied the transformed sculpture, however, he came to see a dimension of Christ that had not been real to him before. It was the Christ who is a gentle, merciful Savior. Thorvaldsen inscribed on the base of the completed statue, “Come Unto Me,” and that picture of the Lamb of God in His mercy has inspired millions.

If the rigmarole of “Happy Holidays” disappoints you, I pray the mist of Christmas rolls through your mind to unveil the miracle of hope in your life, too.

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