2 Corinthians 3:18
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.
As my brother and I are growing up, our family makes the 1,000 mile trek from Georgia to Massachusetts every summer to visit grandparents, aunts and uncles and, of course, our cousins. One of the highlights of this trip is the pilgrimage to Lincoln Park, a pre-Disney/Six-Flags amusement venue replete with rides including the Ferris wheel, carousels, one of which features cars and motorcycles instead of the traditional horses, and a towering, wooden roller coaster, dubbed The Comet, which we were either not tall enough to ride, or too chicken to try.
But our all-time favorite attraction in the park is the iconic Fun House. It is a veritable maze of crooked, sinuous walkways, stifling tunnels, unexpected twists and turns, all designed to provoke amusement and surprise. The part I recall the most, however, is the row of distorting mirrors that alter our reflections in tortuous and disturbing ways. Although I humor my cousins by laughing right along with them at our bulbous heads, extended bellies, and elongated arms and legs, I find it more unsettling than anything else.
In Chapter Six of his book, The Discipline of Grace, author, Jerry Bridges, writes: "Our specific responsibility in the pursuit of holiness as seen in 2 Corinthians 3:8, then, is to behold the glory of the Lord as it is displayed in the gospel. The gospel is the 'mirror' through which we now behold His beauty. One day we shall see Christ, not as in a mirror, but face to face. Then, 'we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is' (1 John 3:2). Until then we behold Him in the gospel."
Just as you and I look into our mirrors every day when brushing our teeth or combing our hair, and we see only a reflection of our true selves, so the gospel gives us a reflection of who Christ really is. That is how, on this side of heaven, we can be transformed by the Spirit to become more Christ-like with each passing day.
And unlike the Fun House mirrors, flawed things of this world that aim to distort and misrepresent the truth, the gospel mirror is clear and unadulterated, reflecting nothing but the Truth.
The Truth that we, as Christians, should pursue with every fiber of our being.
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
Until that day, you and I can only imagine . . .
(Click on "I Can Only Imagine" to hear the song.)
For the next seven weeks, I will be participating in a study of Jerry Bridges' The Discipline of Grace. It is led by fellow Christian bloggers, Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, who welcome you to read the book along with us, and chime in at any time you feel moved to do so. Hope to see you here next Wednesday as we reflect on Chapter Seven. God bless!