1 Corinthians 13:12 - "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."
It's wedding season around here and most everywhere else. And 1 Corinthians 13 is one of the all-time favorite Bible chapters that brides and grooms choose to have read at their weddings.
You know 1 Corinthians 13 - Love is patient; Love is kind; Love keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13 is all about love. That's why couples choose it. It's clearly about love.
But towards the end of 1 Corinthians 13 is this part in today's verse that is not so clear, "For now we see in a mirror dimly." Say what? That's not clear. And that surely isn't about love.
As they say, "Not so fast."
Some, hey, maybe all of you may know that seeing "in a mirror dimly" refers to the quality of mirrors that they had in Bible days. My training on the matter was that mirrors in Bible days were like pieces of glass that people often use decoratively today where you can see both a little reflection of yourself and also a foggy view of things on the other side. I think they call it bubble glass nowadays. Bottom line is that your own reflection in that kind of mirror is dim, at best, and you actually can also see through it, but dimly also at best. In sum, as the verse goes on to say, the mirror glass of Bible days only let you "know in part" both your present (your reflection in the glass) and your future (your seeing through the glass).
Such dimness and knowing in part is also, like the rest of 1 Corinthians 13, about love - God's love.
God's love reminds us that we often don't see ourselves too clearly. We often kick ourselves over things that God (and others) have long ago forgiven and/or forgotten. We often see ourselves as far less beautiful and handsome than the child of God that our Heavenly Father adores. And we often see ourselves as far less worthy than the worth that God obviously attaches to us by deeming that we're worth it to him to send His Only Son to die for us and our sin! We have a dim view of ourselves, but God sees us clearly as His own, so he calls us to listen to his voice about us instead of our own voice about us. God loves us far more than we could ever love ourselves!
Similarly, God's love reminds us that we don't see our future too clearly either. The future looks unclear to us, but it's perfectly clear to God. We look through the bubble, and our future looks most uncertain, but God certainly knows what's ahead, namely, He Himself. In other words, God doesn't want us to see clearly all the details of our future. Instead, God wants us to see Him! God wants us to focus on the fact that, though the "whats" of our future are unclear, the "who" of our future is very clear, well, when we look in faith, because nothing about our future is clear apart from faith. But, in faith, we clearly see who is in our future, yay, the Sovereign Loving God. And since God is already there, our future will clearly be blessed.
So right now take a look in the mirror or better, before you hop in your car today, look in your car window, which is kind of like the dim mirrors of old. And, as you see a dim reflection of yourself and a little bit through the glass, remember the love of God that sees you and your future clearly. He loves you right now and will be present in all that's ahead to clearly guide your ways.
Trust Him, and you'll see!
"The gospel is the story of Jesus [what God's only Son has done for us that we can't do for ourselves], spoken as a promise." - Robert Jenson