When Kimberly and I first walked into our previous parish church, St. Joseph Shrine on US-12 in the Irish Hills, we were amazed at the well preserved, historical beauty of the old Catholic Church. Then we noticed a large painting of the Last Supper on the wall. A gift from their sister parish in Africa. The painting showed Jesus and the Apostles portrayed as Africans. I think it was the first time either of us
ever thought of Jesus as not being European. Our second thought was, “why not?”
Renowned evangelist and pastor of Mount Zion Church in Los Angeles, Dr. E.V. Hill, was once asked if Jesus was Caucasian as portrayed in so many paintings, statues, and books that we see. This was his reply:
“I don’t know anything about a white Jesus…I know about Christ, a Savior named Jesus. I don’t know what color He is. He was born in the brown Middle East; He fled to Africa; He was in Heaven before the Gospel got to white Europe. So, I don’t know what color He is. I do know one thing: if you bow at the altar with color on your mind, you’ll get up with color on your mind. Go back again – and keep going
back and going back until you no longer look at His color, but at His power – His power to save.”
Dr. Hill was the co-chair of the Baptist World Alliance and a friend of Billy Graham. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 69. May he rest in peace. May we take his advice and pray for the grace to leave the altar not wondering what color Jesus is, but in awe of His power to save.