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Communion 2010

Mirror of the Soul

Originally scheduled for July 25

Most of us have a mirror in our homes. We accept it as a normal part of our household; we use it to look at ourselves – but then what? Do you look and say, “I can’t be that fat?” Or do you say, “I’ve got to start dieting some day?” Some of us get to say, “The diet is working!” Others say, “The Rogaine is not.”

Communion is a mirror of the soul. You are to examine yourself, look in the spiritual mirror. Do you look at yourself at all? It’s not easy:

·        Most of us want to “let sleeping worms lie,” as C. S. Lewis put it. We’d just as soon skip the self examination part – because we don’t like what we know we’ll find.

·        To avoid this, some of us will repent – of other people’s sins. We can safely repent of the way American Indians were treated in the 19th Century, for example. We feel truly sorry, really we do.

·        Of course, if you prefer contemporary sins, you can certainly spend the time examining other people’s sins and deciding for them that they should repent.

All these are simply ways of refusing to look in the mirror. But suppose you do look, what do you see?

·        Do you see someone who says, “I can fix this myself?” All you need to do is launch yet another self-help campaign, and surely things will be just fine – later.

·        Perhaps you see something else: someone who knows that it’s hopeless. It doesn’t matter if you repent, you think; the sin will return. So why bother?

·        Perhaps it’s just procrastination: you acknowledge to God that someday, perhaps even soon, you will repent. Just not now.

Just what should you be doing? The steps are simple: look in the mirror and,

·        Admit that there is a problem – with you. You are a sinner; the only real question is what particular sort.

·        Ask forgiveness. All sin offends God, the Innocent One. He is gracious to forgive, but you must ask.

·        Ask for help. He loves his children, and wants them to turn to him for help.

·        Commit to action. Saying that you need to go to the gym regularly is not a substitute for exercise. This is not an academic exercise.

The mirror may be denied or ignored; it may give rise to self-deception. Or it may show us what needs to be done – and move us to do it.

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