Today’s Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:11-12

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  (KJV)
Artwork by Braden

Artwork by Braden Lesher

This well-known verse has the wonderful term “glass” instead of “mirror” as is found in many more modern Bible translations. Whether this is a reference to mica or primitive glass looked through, rather than a reflection in a mirror of polished metal, is a question for the scholars. We are left with a mental picture of the limitations of our physical world, and of our minds. Our perception of God is described as merely a glimpse at the divine, immeasurable One – not a perfect observation or understanding.

There are times for many of us, particularly in the Christmas season, when life does not match the Hallmark card, when we wonder why we are experiencing a crushing loss. We know we are not called to feel this way, but most of us have felt profound sadness at the first sound of the carols at least once in our lives. Perhaps this verse was intended to help explain this disparity in times when life is dark, painful, or confusing – the years when all is merry and bright, as well as the years when the quiet promise of Christ’s birth breaks our hearts. We are called to embrace the incredible variety of human experience with God: a dance with an infinite being who moves with love into our fields of imperfect and finite vision.

Our best gift to ourselves this season may be to see ourselves as God’s own, to allow ourselves to be welcomed home as God’s children once again. Please pray that the acts of loving God and our neighbors will influence our vision this Advent, that we may be comfort and joy to those who need it most.