Picture the image of Jesus sleeping on a bench on a downtown Austin sidewalk. The pastor of an Austin Presbyterian church worked to bring the unique form of art that is meant to highlight the plight of the homeless.
“We are in the final planning stages and getting ready to receive a sculpture called ‘the Homeless Jesus,’” said Joseph Moore, pastor at the Central Presbyterian Church.
But when you first see the sculpture, you may not recognize the person as Jesus.
But “you notice that the crucified feet of Jesus are sticking out,” Moore responded. “We think it speaks to the way we understand the gospel as being about the very people that Jesus talked about and hung out with; the poor and the homeless.”
Moore saw a picture of a similar sculpture in 2013 and it stuck with him.
“And then that fall, Pope Francis saw it,” Moore added. “And he was so moved by it that he actually touched it. He prayed over it and commissioned it to go in Rome.”
An anonymous donor heard about the sculpture and is paying for a bronze copy to be placed next to the Central Presbyterian Church on Brazos at 8th Street.
But there is criticism this depiction of Jesus as a homeless man is inappropriate.
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