Pastor Ethan's Blog
Friday, March 16 2018
One of the more interesting plot devices from the Harry Potter stories is found in the book The Sorcerer’s Stone, where Harry discovers the mysterious Mirror of Erised. The mirror, it turns out, reflects not the truth, but rather a person’s “deepest, most desperate desires.” For Harry, this desperate desire is to have his dead parents back, and in the mirror he sees himself standing with them. The mirror quickly becomes a tempting addiction for Harry, for what he sees reflected in the glass is more desirable than his life as he knows it. But therein lies the problem- while the mirror shows Harry a life he wishes were true, it is not. It isn’t real. Finally, the kind wizard Dumbledore gives Harry the advice the entire narrative has been leading to- “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” That’s good advice. To put words in the mouth of a fictional character, Dumbledore could have added “the source of real life- the power to truly live- is always found in what is actually true.”
This Sunday we will bring to conclusion our study series “God’s Mirror: Reflecting Jesus in Everyday Life.” Through this 10 week journey, our scriptural foundation has been 1 Corinthians chapter 13 (the “Love chapter”), and 2 Corinthians 3:17-18. In these two remarkable passages, the apostle Paul describes another ancient and mysterious mirror. This mirror’s unique power is that when placed in front of a disciple of Jesus, it doesn’t just reflect what appears to be true, but rather reflects the deepest reality of what is ultimately actually true. Let me unpack this just a bit. In Paul’s day, mirror technology had a long way to go, being made of polished metal or glass of low purity. In such a mirror, you would see what appears to be you, but a dim reflection, as the impurities in the surface clouded and distorted the image. But Paul’s mirror, the mirror of the New Covenant, was different. This ancient mirror dates back to the founding of creation itself, when God looked at what he had created in his own image, and proclaimed “It is Good!” Paul looked intently into this mirror when writing his letters, and we are able to contemplate it ourselves today. When we do, the image at first is indeed cloudy, dim. But, if we look closely… intently… a different image becomes increasingly clear. It is us, but not just as we appear today. What we see, what we behold is not just who we already are, it is the image of who we are becoming. It is the image, as unlikely as it may seem, of the Glory of God.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 NASB