WEEK SIX: RESPONSE
2 Corinthians 3: 17-18 (NRSV)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
In this week of responding to God’s goodness, today our word is Resemble. We are actually “being transformed into the image” of Jesus, and we are called to “be imitators of God.” I like to think that the longer we live with the Spirit’s presence within, we will naturally become more and more like Christ. (I’ve heard it said that married people begin to look more alike the longer they live together!) As Paul says in 2 Corinthians, the Spirit is the one transforming us as we contemplate the glory of Jesus. Keeping our eyes on Jesus as we allow the Spirit to move within us, we will increasingly begin to resemble him.
People can resemble Jesus in many different ways, can’t they? We can see Jesus in the courageous one who works for justice, or the selfless one who serves those in need. We see Jesus in one who is a gentle and contemplative soul, as well as another who is a lively and humorous public speaker. People who resemble Jesus have a variety of different personalities and ways of serving.
There is often something deeper shining in these people who resemble Jesus, underlying their acts of service and unique personalities. An inner countenance of peace, assurance and love centers and guides them. They are humble, lowly and selfless. In their presence, one feels a genuine, joyful warmth. Today I think of my friend, Heidi, who for me is a wonderful example of all of these qualities.
Thirty nine years ago I wrote in my journal, “There is nothing like the happiness of someone glad to see you.” This holds true for me today. To be seen, to be appreciated, to feel as if you are bringing someone joy by your mere presence, is so affirming and uplifting! When I am in Heidi’s presence, I feel Christ’s presence. By her delighted expression, her attentive care, and her interest in my life, she makes me feel precious, treasured and important. Jesus’ love for people is readily and visibly shared through Heidi’s love for others.
So perhaps how we most resemble Jesus is not through our image but how others see themselves in our presence. We resemble Jesus when we reflect the light of Christ onto them. It’s as if we serve as a mirror for others to see themselves in the Light of Love. Have you noticed how the romantic light on makeup mirrors or in cozy restaurants has a soft rosy glow that diminishes our blemishes and imperfections? In shining the light of Christ onto others, we help them see their beauty, potential, worth, and best qualities. We help them see themselves as Jesus would see them, beloved and treasured. We resemble Jesus not just by the way others see us, but in the way they see themselves in the Light of Christ- the soft, radiant Light of Love.
Jesus, Light of Love,
We want to resemble YOU for others! Help us to grow in your likeness. Keep working in us, guiding us, and changing us until we glow with your Light of love. Help us to mirror to others your soft, loving and perfecting gaze upon them. Amen.