04 June 2021
Christ the Redeemer
On our final morning in Rio de Janeiro, before going to catch our flight home, we had the amazing privilege of visiting the Christ the Redeemer statue on top of the Corcovado Mountain. We were ably led by our guide Laura who is the secretary to Bishop Paulo Rangel. We experienced travelling to the base of the mountain via the metro and bus and then queued for a train to the peak. From there we walked up to the statue along with many hundreds of other tourists.
I have seen images of this statue many times as it has become synonymous, not just with Rio but also Brazil in general and as we came out of the railway station it was awe inspiring to see the statue rising up in front of us. The statue was inaugurated in 1931 to mark the centenary of Brazil’s independence, having been shipped from France to Brazil. The statue stands thirty metres tall on top of the seven hundred and six metre mountain and the eight metre pedestal. It’s amazing to think that the statue was hauled up the mountain by rail when the head alone weighs thirty tons!
It is said that the statue was designed with open arms to embrace the whole city and is seen as a testament to the warmth of Brazilians.
It was interesting being close to the statue and I really prayed that this amazing image of our Lord Jesus would have an impact on people’s hearts and lives. During my visits to various places around Brazil I had been recording various Bible readings and on this final part of my journey, felt it was right to read from Colossians 1 about the incomparable Christ. As I began to read the passage amongst the pressing crowd, I felt really anointed and it was a powerful moment. Sandra said afterwards that the crowd fell quiet as I read and I pray that the incredible words of the reading would have touched people who were listening.
I close this article with the reading from Colossians 1 vs 15 – 20 (NRSV).
‘He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.’
I pray as you read this today, that you will experience the power and presence of the incomparable Christ in your heart and life and that as you look at the image of this iconic statue that you will sense Jesus opening his arms to welcome and accept you today into his love.