What's the Purpose of a Mirror?
Dear Trinity Church, "What is the purpose of a mirror?" That’s the question I asked each car at Drive-Thru Church this past Sunday. It was supposed to serve as fodder for the passage about to be read, about Paul saying that our faces are actually mirrors that reflect the Lord’s glory. I have to admit — I thought I was just going to hear one obvious answer after another: “They reflect an image” or, “They show us who we are” or, “They tell you what you look like” and so on. But then, one of the cars gave this answer: “Mirrors show me all the ways I’m not perfect yet.” I was struck. Right then, I threw away my planned 2-minute sermon to explore all there was to unpack. In the short time we had, we discovered that there is an opposite journey mirrors would have us take to get to perfection. Here’s the anti-gospel, 3-point sermon preached by Reverend Mirror every single morning in your bathroom:
Did you know you’ve got flaws?
Look a little closer at them — I’ll show you every last one.
Don’t worry, you can fix them. You just need to work a little harder.
And we silently accept this message. We don't even put up a fight. "The road to perfection is possible," we hear the Reverend's voice say, "it just means you need to constantly improve in order to be acceptable." Who can ever make that journey and come out alive? But then the counter-sermon from the LORD comes crashing in:
You — yes, your imperfect self — you are actually the mirror.
Look a little closer — and you’ll see that you reflect My glory.
You can’t fix yourself. But I can transform your whole self into My image with ever-increasing glory.
And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:18)
Do you see? God is offering us an alternate path. The mirror says: “I’ll tell you the truth: you just need to work harder to get rid of your flaws.” But God says: “I’ll tell you the truth: you can’t get rid of your flaws. But you can hide them in the wounds of Christ. And when you do that, you will become like him — a broken jar of clay whose cracks reveal My glory. You are the mirror who reflects me. And I want you to know that you don’t have to exhaust yourself anymore, trying to reach “perfect.” When you hide yourself in me, I actually do the work of perfection for you, and you become more and more glorious every single day.” It’s a fact: we all reflect the Lord’s glory, no matter who we are. Why? Because we are His children, and He is our Dad. That’s how families work. And every day we wake up, we can look in the mirror and say, “Thank you, Dad.” Because He is doing the work of transforming us into His image with ever-increasing glory. That work was never ours to pick up.
All is grace,
Carson+ p.s. - if you missed Susan Waltar's letter from Monday about Small Miracles, click here. Here's the sign-up for Small Miracles. I also want to bring your attention to our Archbishop's recent address on happenings in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), as well as a personal and provincial response to current events in the nation. His name is Foley Beach, and he is the Bishop to Bishop Ken Ross as well as all Diocesan Bishops in the USA. It is a long read, but worth it. If you've only got a couple minutes, scroll down near the bottom and read everything after the stand-alone line "Seventeen years old!"