A few days ago, I read a post over at Patheos, No Room for God in this “Adoration of the Magi”
I have to disagree with the assessment of the painting…
What this painting does reveal, is the look on the “kings” of the world today, who, for the first time, are realizing Jesus Christ truly is King. Psalms 72:11, “May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!.” We are all kings in our own right, and in His, we are only children. Ask yourself, honestly, what will be the frist thing I do, when I see His face for the first time. Yes, you will be amazed, but the moment you realize He is Lord, the soul is thrown into a deep state of “Repentance”. Purgatory on earth for those who find Him now, Purgatory for those who did not, after death of the body, do. The moment begins with the understanding that you hurt Him through your sins and lack of love. You sought the things of this world rather than Him first. In every moment in your past, in everything you have done and didn’t do, you missed His love. You didn’t listen to Him. You didn’t do everything He told you to do. The reflection of yourself, in the Son of God on the Cross who became sin but had no sin in Him. Seeing yourself as you truly are. A sinner. Seeing Him as He truly is. THEE same Innocent Child who when we see Him, we understand as the centurion “Surely he was the Son of God!”. This is the beginning of Fear of the Lord. I feel the painting captures the “look”, quite honestly.
“Do not think that your present state is a punishment from Heaven, because you would be wrong, but be certain that your present state is willed by God for the salvation of your soul.” ~St.Padre Pio
Remember the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, when the Ark is opened for the first time. The “Bad Guys” were captivated in Wonder and Awe at first, but then “melted”. Yeah, it’s just like that. Our hearts “Melt” from being frozen in sin and we realize the answer to the question God asks, “What have you done”. Genesis 4:10 The answer: Psalm 51:4 “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.”
I had that look on my face for many years and at times even now, still do. He has taught me through repentance, that He is still with me and joy and hope overtakes the “look” every time. In His time. In His suffering. In His forgivness.
Reminds me of the opening song in Les Miserables; “Look Down”. As many do need to “”Look Down” from their personal thrones on high, they have placed themselves in.
Take into account not what the The Kings brought Him, but what they walked away with after seeing Him. They ( The Wise Men) didn’t go back to King Herod (the sinful way). No. They took a different route.
Where did Judas run back to after seeing His Face? “So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.” Matthew 27:5
Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God unrivalled. By my own self I swear it, what comes from my mouth is truth, a word irrevocable: before me every knee shall bend, by me every tongue shall swear. – Isaiah 45:22-23