Homeless Jesus

by
Abby Zimet

Some wealthy residents of Davidson N.C. aren't sure about the new art installation outside St. Albans Episcopal Church, a bronze figure representing a homeless Jesus sleeping on a bench, wrapped in a blanket. The work deliberately includes room to sit on the bench; it's only if people get that close they can tell it's Jesus by the crucifixion marks on his feet, but not many are, because, you know, ick, homeless person. The Rev. David Buck praises the statue, by Canadian sculptor and devout Catholic Timothy Schmalz, for "giving authenticity to our church" and reminding well-off parisioners to care for "the marginalized of society," as Jesus instructed: "As you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me." Which all sounds well and good but didn't stop one woman from calling the cops on Jesus because "I was concerned for the safety of the neighborhood." Others have complained that it's inappropriate because Jesus wasn't in fact a vagrant or homeless person. Oh, wait... 

Jesus as a vagabond has sparked a surprising reaction from community of Davidson, N.C.

The controversial statue, title "Jesus the Homeless," depicts Christ as a beggar sleeping on a park bench, NPR reports. His face and body are covered with a blanket, revealing only his crucifixion-wounded hands and feet. The statue is a visual interpretation of Matthew 25:45, in which Jesus states, "As you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me."

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The sculpture is placed on the property of St. Alban's Episcopal Church which is located at the center of an upscale lakeside community filled with well-kept homes and manicured lawns.

- See more at: http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/50895/20140414/homeless-jesus-statu..., N.C., have debated the merits of a bronze statue of Jesus Christ as a homeless man on a local park bench. But when news of the hobo lord hit national TV this morning, NBC's hosts had a decidedly less coherent religious experience.

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