David always entertain us with a practical life snippet using real life artifacts. Today he brought a mirror along.....
Sermon reading: 1 Cor 13:12
If you are one of the older contingent, it is probable that the Bible sometimes misleads you. The old King James or Authorised Version refers in our text to a glass, and we probably think of obscurity from dirty or poor glass. Today however, there are many translations, so we get an accurate translation. Having an intelligible Bible is a great privilege since Wycliffe and Tyndale, who suffered great persecution to translate it.
Glass was actually very rare in Bible days, the reference is to mirrors, which were made in Corinth. We take mirrors much for granted, but they are very useful.
Through them we know the world better; astronomical telescopes use mirrors to magnify the light. There is actually a new one about to be put into orbit, an improvement on Hubble telescope. The hope is that through it humanity will better understand the origins of the universe. My hope is that it will then be clearer that God is the almighty creator, and no other explanation of origins makes sense. "The heavens declare God" (Ps 19), and mirrors aid that declaration.
Through mirrors you can know yourself. Mirrors help us to see what we otherwise could not, such as our faces. A mirror is a reminder that we need to know ourselves better, and if so, we should not forget (Jas 1:23)
We have a mirror - what is it? We are helped by looking at the context of our verse; the next indicates that it is:
Christ - who is received by FAITH, through which we are saved
Christ - who gives HOPE of something better than this life - we can have confidence
Christ - who reflects the nature of God so that we LOVE Him. A mirror gives a reflection, and Christ is the image of God (Heb 1:3)
If Christ is THE mirror, we can become a mirror, as we are created in God's image (Gen 1:27). We should reflect God's glory (2 Cor 3:18), by transformation, and through loving Him - both by the Spirit. We can then do two things,
We are able to show Jesus- as in a car headlight, which has a mirror to reflect the light ahead
We are able to warn - as the reflector in a tail-light helps warn others
But it can be that we reflect darkly: then the view is poor. If so:
Get somebody to help us - remember the log and speck (Matt 7:3f)?
Polish the mirror - do what we can to understand Him better
Improve the lighting - by the work of the Spirit
And then? Again look at the context! A reflection is good, but it will be better in the future: we will see Him face to face (1 Cor 15). But for now - enjoy His presence (1 Cor 14)!
Prof David T Williams