I have been a keen amateur photographer for many years. I would not claim to be particularly good at it but I do enjoy seeking out that “special” picture, be it a good landscape, sunset/rise or wildlife picture. I have even photographed a few weddings in my time. The thing about a picture is it captures a moment in time and place that will never be seen again and it tells the story of that moment. Pictures are so important to all of us in this visual society that we live in. How important are those “precious memories” that leap out of our family albums. And it is so much easier these days to take those pictures as most of us have a camera in our pocket or bag wherever we go and there are no extra developing costs that used to limit us in the past. How many of you remember having to wait 3 or 4 days for your photos to come back from Boots, not knowing what joy or disaster awaited you in your envelope of 12, 24 or 36 pictures. Then we had Polaroid cameras where the pictures were available in 15 seconds. Now, we can see the results instantly. This makes me wonder how good would it be if we had photographs of those great events of the new testament, the wedding at Cana, the feeding of the five thousand, the birth in Bethlehem, Easter, Pentecost……..? Would it help us to believe what we read in the Bible? Actually, I suspect not. The Bible is like a family photo album. While we have never seen God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit physically, the scriptures paint vivid pictures of who they are and what they are like. James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited—There is a painting in a palace in Rome by Reni. It is painted into the ceiling of the dome, over 100 feet high. To stand at floor level and look upward, the painting seems to be surrounded by a fog that leaves its content unclear. But, in the centre of the great dome room is a huge mirror, which in its reflection picks up the picture. By looking into the mirror, you can see the picture with great clarity. The Bible paints very clear pictures of Jesus, who he is, why he came, what he did and is still doing. Jesus Christ, is the mirror of God. In Him we see a clear reflection of the Father. As Jesus said, ’If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.’ The challenge is - when others look at us, do they see a picture of Christ? When we look into the mirror, do we see a reflection of Christ? One of those pictures was painted vividly by Paul in his letter to the Colossian church. (Col 1:15-23) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross— whether things on earth or things in heaven. Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him— if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it. A little boy was working hard on a drawing and his dad asked him what he was doing. The reply came back, ’Drawing a picture of God.’ His dad said, ’You can’t do that, son. Nobody knows what God looks like.’ But the little boy was undeterred and continued to draw. He looked at his picture with satisfaction and said very matter-of-factly, ’They will in a few minutes.’ Christ is the image of the invisible God. When we accept Christ, we are continually recreated in his image. Much like the little boy’s drawing, when people see us they, hopefully, see a small glimpse of what God is like. In our picture from Paul’s letter we have a picture of Christ as a rescuer. He rescues us from ourselves. A picture of Christ as a creator, we become new creatures because of His creative abilities. A picture of Christ as Lord in which He is in complete of control of everything. A picture of Christ as peacemaker in which he calms the anger and the hurt and bids us to come home to our Father. What more beautiful a picture do we need to draw us closer to Him. Want to know Jesus better, then open the pages of your bible and let those pictures speak to you. God Bless. #TheFlame #Family

— atThe Flame Community Church.

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