Now we see but a poor 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).
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall…” Mirrors play a significant role in the way we look at ourselves. We seldom avoid the mirror before leaving home. Why? The mirror is the place where I see the me I want to see. Like the Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter that allows the user to perceive what they most desire in the reflection. Or who could forget the cruel step mother of Snow White, who longed to be affirmed in her vanity. But the reflection in these mirrors never tell the whole story…we never see the whole self, just the ‘me’ we want to see allowing us to ignore the rest.
Not all mirrors are this accommodating. There are mirrors that reveal the things we would wish to deny. These mirrors offended. Take, for instance, my wife. When I sin against Tara and I see the hurt in her eyes I see the reflection of my own selfishness. Its veracity makes me turn away. The tears come and I grow angry as though it is the mirror’s fault. I want her to stop because I can’t bear the sight. I walk away. I don’t have the courage to admit the evil in my own heart. I deny. I preserve. I perpetuate the sin within me. And my only rescue is in the one I have pushed away.
Walt Wangerin points out that “the mirrors that hide nothing hurt me.” The passion of Christ, his suffering and death, is such a mirror. When we look at the suffering of Jesus we see in his travail the hideous reflection of our sin. We have, with Narcissus, fallen in love with our own reflection and raised ourselves higher than God! This is the man in the mirror.
We must never avoid this mirror! We must see in the crucifixion of Christ the reflection of our sin and its consequences. This is not a mirror made of glass. It is made out of righteousness and divinity. It is a scandalous grace that Jesus gives to us. Not only did he take our sin within himself, reflecting the personal degradation of our lives, but he reversed the reflective nature of our sin and turned it into righteousness before God. When we look into the reflection of the gospel we behold Christ’s crucifixion, the death of our own hideous selfishness, and the resurrection and the life!
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall who is the fairest of them all?”
And we all say together, “Jesus!”
Take time today to reflect on the work Christ has done on your behalf.
The Second Week of Lent:
Morning: Psalm 41, 52 Genesis 37:1-1 1 Corinthians 1:1-19
Evening: Psalm 44 Mark 1:1-13
Morning: Psalm 45 Genesis 37:12-24 1 Corinthians 1:20-31
Evening: Psalm 47, 48 Mark 1:14-28
Morning: Psalm 119:49-72 Genesis 37:25-36 1 Corinthians 2:1-13
Evening: Psalm 49, 53 Mark 1:29-45
Morning: Psalm 50 Genesis 39:1-23 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:15
Evening: Psalm 19, 46 Mark 2:1-12
Morning: Psalm 95, 40, 54 Genesis 40:1-23 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Evening: Psalm 51 Mark 2:13-22
Morning: Psalm 55 Genesis 41:1-13 1 Corinthians 4:1-7
Evening: Psalm 138, 139:1-23 Mark 2:23-3:6
Morning: Psalm 24, 29 Genesis 41:14-45 Romans 6:3-14
Evening: Psalm 8, 84 John 5:19-24
– Pastor Hartman