The Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio

William Shakespeare wrote, “God’s goodness hath been great to thee; let never day nor night unhallowed pass, but still remember what the Lord hath done.”

It moves me yet to think back to 1961when our family including two small children visited the Christ the Redeemer statue that spreads its arms over Rio. It symbolizes the protection and care those extended arms give to Rio and each of us every day. We never visited this stature during our first term in Brazil for we were working in the interior of the State of Sao Paulo and from there flew directly back to Canada for home assignment. It is not just the view of the statue that takes a person’s breath away; from the parking lot there are a good many physically demanding steps still to climb. But before I give you some mundane details, I want you to watch a short video of workers on top of the statue repairing lightning rods.

Click here and hang on tightly:  Wonderful view  To open use Ctrl and click.

From the video from the peak of the Corcovado mountain towering some 2,300 feet over Rio, I want to point out some of what you see of the city. The reason? Rio is the most gorgeous city in the world. On the left is the Bay of Botafogo some of which has been filled in to provide roads between Copacabana and the downtown area. Then in the distance is Sugar Loaf mountain perched on an a huge rock called Urca. A trip up Sugar Loaf is a must for any tourist. Then Leme point juts out in the ocean and our eyes understand why the world-famous Copacabana beach is what it is. Its white sand ends at the jutting rocks of Arpoador. From our perch above you will next see the Lake of Freitas and just beyond that Ipanema beach. Those scallops of lovely beaches go on and on with seemingly no end. How nice to walk in that sand in one’s bare feet!

Two things you will gather about this city: it is crowded between the water and the spine of mountains that separate the ocean from the Bay of Guanabara. And the mountains and rock are everywhere with spines extending into the Atlantic and separating one beach from another. When we lived in Rio how we appreciated the strange exotic beauty of this city! It is a city unlike any other in the world.

You’ve watched the video and with me you are amazed I am sure at the courage of these repairmen to walk that narrow arm and hand out to the fingers to make repairs. They risk their lives in spite of safety harness, all to keep the statue of Christ the Redeemer in shape and thus a symbol of our Eternal Christ’s watching always over us. Me? I truly believe in God’s protection, sent often by his angels to guide and watch over me and every one of us. I rest in the truth that divine overshadowing means I am not alone in this world. And you are not alone. Even pain and death are reminders to look up to the almighty arms.

As I watch those men working in life-depriving danger, I’m reminded that since good paying jobs are relatively scarce for working men this is no doubt the reason they would be willing to take on extraordinary risks. Then again, I’ve seen Christians take risk and tire themselves out to the point of exhaustion to make hope possible for others. At times that happens through medical clinics, schools and offering the love of the Christ. That love cannot be explained without understanding the Love of God—that love portrayed in the ministry and death of this Cristo Redentor. The statue of Christ the Redeemer above Rio has so much to say to us–everyone of us.

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