Jump directly to the Content

Glimpses of Glory

How many voices speak of God in your church? And what messages are heard?

Fifteen hundred years ago, the emperor of Rome built a tomb for his beloved sister. The small building was designed in the shape of a cross with a vaulted ceiling covered with mosaics of swirling stars in an indigo sky. The focal point of the mosaic ceiling was a depiction of Jesus as a shepherd surrounded by sheep in a green paradise.

The mausoleum of Galla Placidia still stands in Ravenna, Italy, and has been called by scholars "the earliest and best preserved of all mosaic monuments" and one of the "most artistically perfect."

But visitors who have admired the mosaic in travel books and on postcards will be disappointed when they enter the mausoleum. The structure has only tiny windows, and what light does enter is usually blocked by a mass of tourists. The "most artistically perfect" mosaic monument, the inspiring vision of the Good Shepherd in a starry paradise, is hidden behind a veil of darkness.

But those who are patient, who endure the musty darkness ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
How a Mother’s Love Built a School that Can Transform Hearts and Brains
How a Mother’s Love Built a School that Can Transform Hearts and Brains
Jacob’s Ladder challenges special education norms thanks to Amy O’Dell's relentless belief in her son.
Editor's Pick
Pastoral Care Doesn’t Require Capes
Pastoral Care Doesn’t Require Capes
Four practitioners discuss how to minister well without resorting to heroics.
close