Nearly two years after the tragic slaying of teenager Trayvon Martin, the late Florida resident’s memory remains alive at a California church.
According to reports, a life-size display of Martin bleeding is the highlight of Claremont United Method Church in Cali this week.
A church in California has depicted a bleeding Trayvon Martin in its Nativity scene, a call that “we have to take a look at the violence” in our society, the pastor said. The display outside Claremont United Methodist Church, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, features a life-sized representation of the slain teen in a black hoodie, doubled over with a stream of blood coming from his chest. (The Blaze)
Artist John Zachary has stood behind using Martin’s death as a symbolic representation for Christmas.
Zachary said that commenting on Martin’s slaying fit into the Christmas backstory – King Herod’s order to slaughter all infants in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the Messiah. The artist said that, as Mary, Joseph and others celebrated the birth of Jesus, “other parents (are) in agony because their children had just been killed.” Zachary, who works as a Hollywood production designer, said a photo of Martin lying dead on the pavement emotionally affected him. “What if Jesus was lying there bleeding to death? I was kind of thinking of that,” Zachary said. (Raw Story)
Zachary has also tied in the importance of making sure people really connect to the Nativity story.
“I’ve tried to make them contemporary issues that are provocative as they relate to the Nativity story,” Zachary said in an interview. “I think that from our privileged point of view we’ve come to see the Nativity as a representation of something that is comfortable and present and wonderful in our life and I want to make it something that Jesus would have taught and something that is thought-provoking and something that is a contemporary issue about social justice.” (David Allen)
Over the past few years, Zachary has built a reputation for taking modern day realities and turning them into religious images.
It’s the work of John Zachary, who has created the church’s Nativity scenes for the past several years. He’s depicted Mary and Joseph as a modern-day homeless couple; as Mexicans stopped by the U.S.-Mexico border fence; as Iraq War refugees; and in 2010, just Mary by herself, as a black woman in prison with her baby, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported. (The Blaze)
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Check out John Zackary discussing his project: