Den’s Pen – 28 May 2020

Looking in the Mirror
Looking in the mirror, yes, I look in the mirror everyday as I shave the hair growing in the parts of my face that might otherwise present me as a cave man.  But what about seeing myself in a different situation where what I see is a closer reality to how other people perceive me?  I’m talking about watching myself on video, which I have had to do a lot during this Covid shutdown.
Last Sunday, as I was readying myself for the live broadcast, Leticia Wiltshire, the floor manager, for the Hornby broadcast site, asked me to change my seating position, saying, “Dennis, everything you do on camera amplifies itself by five times, bulges look bulgier, moles look bigger, and a stray hair looks wilder.”  I figured hmm, good looks would look even better, but then I’ve come to the heart wrenching realization that I am not George Clooney.
The image you see of yourself from the video camera is your bathroom mirror on steroids.  That’s the outer you, what about the inner you?  There are mirrors like the video camera that will jolt your reality.  The word of God is such a reflector.  What’s more, the Bible is not one mirror but many mirrors.  One such mirror is the Pharisees.  Have you ever wondered why the Jesus gave the Pharisees and religious elite such a hard time?   When Jesus says, “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.”  My first reaction is to think, bad pharisee, that’s not me.  But then I think I am a long time Christian, and as a minster a professional, just like the religious elite.  And yes, there have been times in my life when I have been nit picky, like religiously attending boring prayer meetings, or taking my family to a Sunday morning worship service when on holiday, and I realize ouch, I’m looking in the mirror.
The Pharisees and religious elite in particular are a mirror on us who have been Christians for a long time.  We can tick the box of doing the right things that guarantee our spiritual security and forget that our spirituality requires an ethical responsibility to our fellow humanity in the areas of justice, and mercy, and exercising faith.  Ouch!  To add fuel to the fire Jesus is relentless.  “For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. 39 And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets” (Mk 2:38-39).  No, that’s not me, but then, have you checked in on your ego lately?   The mirror, or should I say the video camera, is there for those who will dare to look into it.  The ironic thing is unless we look in the mirror, we remain ignorant of our glaring ugliness.  The mirror of God’s word is God’s grace toward us.
Keep looking up

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