Unique colours together make God visible

My trusty Oxford dictionary defines the word mosaic as “a picture or pattern made by placing together small pieces of glass, stone, etc of different colours.”

A magnificent example of such a mosaic is in the south gallery of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.

The mosaic is what as known as the Deesis mosaic.

The mosaic is of Christ, Pantocrator and of Mary and St John.

The mosaic, which is 2.5 times life-size, is somewhat damaged, however, there is sufficient to wonder at the skill of those who created and worked on such a piece.

Each little piece seems so insignificant.

One piece is bright red, another cold blue or dull green, another warm purple, another sharp yellow, another shining gold.

Some look precious, others ordinary.

Some look valuable, others worthless.

Some look gaudy, others delicate.

We can do little with them as individual stones except compare them and judge their beauty and value.

When, however, all these little stones are brought together in one big mosaic, portraying the face of Christ, who would ever question the importance of any one of them?

If one of them, even the least spectacular one, is missing, the face is incomplete.

Together in the one mosaic, each little stone is indispensable and makes a unique contribution to the glory of God.

That’s a community; a fellowship of people, each with their own unique colour who together make God visible in the world.

  • Gerard Whiteford is Marist priest; retreat facilitator and spiritual companion for 35 years.
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