The Ugly Truth About Mirrors

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

Sunday Sermon Reflections

I am adding a new category to A Peculiar Pilgrim.  I”m naming it Sunday Sermon Reflections.  I believe the title is self explanatory, but let me give you the motivation for penning my thoughts on the morning message.  It has been my experience that during a normal week someone will ask how church went Sunday morning. I brace myself for the inevitable follow up question, “What did your pastor preach on?” My heart beats a little faster and my mind races to scrap together bits and pieces of my broken memory in order to muster up a vague yet truthful response without sacrificing my reputation as a spiritual Christian.  This is not to say that I don’t pay attention to the message or that the quality of the sermon isn’t adequate or that it somehow does not apply to me.  It’s just – well… I just forget.  I know, I  know.  You may say that if I thought highly of the preacher and his message then I couldn’t possibly forget.  Or, to turn the tables, you may point the blame straight at the pastor, accusing him of doing his job so poorly that no one could remember his message.  In truth, the answer really has a lot to do with over-saturation.

Let me explain.  Continue reading