Not what you might expect

Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24

You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them.

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

The author of the Hebrews first tells us what coming before the throne of God is not. It is nothing one would expect. There is no great display of awesome power.

There is, however, the heavenly Jerusalem, where the blood of Jesus speaks eloquently of God and God’s wondrous power and might.

The mosaic in the chapel at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio is based on this scene. It is a vision of the heavenly Jerusalem, with Christ as the central figure, surrounded not only by “innumerable angels,” but also by the hand of God and coming of the Spirit. The blood of Christ flows from his hands and side, and is radiant as it flows upon the earth. While there is no cross, it is absolutely clear that Christ is crucified and glorified, and that his blessings – i.e. his Precious Blood – are flowing out to us all.

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