This morning I was in prayer over the aversion some people have about attending church. Church Dodger Doug hates the thought of coming to hear a sermon. Strangely, he may be OK with an occasional visit to some churches in town, but not others. Why is this so?
An image immediately formed in my mind of Dodger Doug warily entering the front door, taking a seat in the very back pew. He looks up to the pulpit and instead of gazing at a smiling preacher he sees a tall body-length mirror reflecting a high resolution image of himself. The reflection clearly displays every facial blemish, skin splotch and protruding fat roll. Dodger Doug is confronted with the ugly truth that he is not the person he thought he was in his imagination. Appalled at the loathsome image Doug draws back and swears off the church, pointing to the other blemished congregants and their inherent hideousness as an excuse for not coming back. But the hard truth is he couldn’t bear to look at himself as he truly is.
Church Dodger Doug may find refuge in another church where the mirrors resemble those you find in a carnival fun house. The contorted images may entertain him but he never sees himself as he truly is.
Any place where the whole counsel of God is expounded from the pulpit, the preached word acts as a mirror that tears down all guises and shows us just how deeply the image of God in us has been damaged by the raging disease of sin. Our original honor, dignity and glory has been ravaged by the boils and infected wounds of our own self-inflicted transgressions. Continue reading