Photo Friday: Winged Victory

Profile photo of Winged Victory

[Winged Victory of Samothrace, profile, The Louvre, Paris. Nikon D40, May, 2013.]

This Photo Friday I’m sharing two photos from our visit to the Louvre in May. I was completely enthralled by this 8-foot tall, 2nd-century B.C. marble statue of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.

The one, true and living God, Jehovah, delights in the craftsmanship that mirrors His creative power. Yet, that we use our genius to form objects of worship, after our own image, grieves HIm bitterly. May we always admire the beauty, the art, the skill, the imagination. But let us reserve our worship for the Giver of these gifts alone. In doing so we find our highest purpose, our deepest joy, and widest freedom.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them…–Exodus 20:4-5 (KJV)
front view photo of Winged Victory

[Winged Victory of Samothrace, front view. May, 2013.]

Statue of Caesar Augustus in the Louvre

Statue of Caesar Augustus

[taken with Nikon D40 in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, May, 2013. Full size.]

This Photo Friday I wanted to show you what is perhaps my favorite photo from our trip to Paris.
I found myself mesmerized by this slightly larger than life-size statue of Caesar Augustus (d. 14 AD). I was enthralled by his calm strength and the fact that I was looking into the face of the man who produced the reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
–Luke 2:1-6 (ESV)

Of course, Augustus was only the secondary cause for the location of Jesus’ birth. For seven centuries before Augustus, God had revealed through the prophet Micah where the Messiah would be born:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace.–Micah 5:2-5

Because the Jesus of history is the Messiah of prophecy, we know that Christianity is not a superstition.