Jill Baker: December 2017
A figure lying on a park bench, shrouded in a ragged blanket which covers the head and face, but with bare feet showing... It might seem an unusual subject for a sculpture. Look closely, though, and notice that the feet bear the marks of having been pierced by nails. This homeless man lying on a bench is Jesus.
The sculpture was created by the Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz who, since 2013, has been seeking locations around the world for castings of the "Homeless Jesus". Through his art he intentionally illustrates the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40; "Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are my family, you did it to me". His work has been controversial, with the first church for which it was made not accepting the sculpture in the end, and, as we know, despite a prolonged and vigorous campaign by Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, the council there would not grant permission for a similar installation.
So I was very glad to attend the unveiling of the "Homeless Jesus" in Glasgow city centre on Thursday 7th December.
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