Church Statue Depicts Homeless Jesus

Parish Action Sparks Discussion

Church Statue Depicts Homeless JesusA recently installed statue that depicts Jesus as homeless has drawn supporters and critics in a North Carolina town. The statue lays on a park bench in front of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, North Carolina.

A recent National Public Radio (NPR) story, “Statue of Homeless Jesus Startles a Wealthy Community” reports on the discussion that the piece of art has brought about.

But more people support it, some even using it as a place for prayer, despite those who find it creepy or an insulting image of the son of God.

In speaking about the statute, the church’s pastor David Buck quoted the passage from the Book of Matthew, “As you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me.”

The statue is a memorial to a parishioner who enjoyed public art.

According to the NPR story:

It gives authenticity to our church,” pastor David Buck says. “This is a relatively affluent church, to be honest, and we need to be reminded ourselves that our faith expresses itself in active concern for the marginalized of society.”

The sculpture is intended as a visual translation of the passage in the Book of Matthew, in which Jesus tells his disciples, “As you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me.” Moreover, Buck says, it’s a good Bible lesson for those used to seeing Jesus depicted in traditional religious art as the Christ of glory, enthroned in finery.

“We believe that that’s the kind of life Jesus had,” Buck says. “He was, in essence, a homeless person.”

This lakeside college town north of Charlotte has the first Jesus the Homeless statue on display in the United States. Catholic Charities of Chicago plans to install its statue when the weather warms up. The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., is said to be interested in one, too.

Click here for the full story from NPR.