Musing on Reflection

Reflection: A simple word that brings immediate thoughts to mind such as an image reflected by a mirror or body of water.  Today in thinking about this word it is taking on more depth of meaning.  The thought process started in recognizing not only is a reflection duplication of an image or a representation of something but it also is a word used to denote careful consideration of a thought or idea[1].  So while the word at face value is simple, when you examine the word more closely it bring greater depth of understanding which also helps us grasp our relationship with God and others. 

The depth does not just stop when examining the word pointing to both representation and careful consideration.  The word is also one that indicates active ongoing change. For example, in computer science the term reflection points to a process that observes and modifies its own structure and behavior at runtime[2].  One could gain even further depth of meaning by understanding the physics of the reflection of light[3].  There are essentially two forms of reflection: one that gives an image (specular) and one that holds the energy but does not give an image (diffuse) [4], the difference between the two being the nature of the interface[5].    Now take some time to think about these facts as it pertains to the Christian life.

As Christians, we are directed to be “imitators of Christ” (Ephesians 5:1, 1 Corinthians 11:1) which is by nature reflecting Christ.  The starting point of our being a reflection of Jesus the Christ is God’s initiation.  God’s initiation is always His word.  It was by His word that all was created. It is by His word we receive direction.   His word is His command.  Now here is the central element of God’s word, Jesus is the Word. (John 1:1) In all cases, God’s initiation, God’s word is Jesus.  He is the light.  He is what we are to reflect.  It is all about Jesus and his sacrifice so that all may be free. Jesus is the initiation.

The next element is the response. In examining the meaning and dynamics of reflection it stands out that the nature of the “responder” to the initiation is indicative of the result. The initiation is both matched and duplicated or it is absorbed and dissipates.  So it with our response to God’s word, His initiation; all that is Jesus. Either we match and duplicate what God directs or we simply absorb it, having no impact.  This is the essence of light and darkness. When we follow God’s word, we reflect Jesus and shine light. How we respond, what we do is the reflection. When we are in line with God there is light.  When we fail to respond in accordance with God’s word and will then we consume or deflect the light and generate darkness, as darkness comes from consumption of light.

Now it is important to also take note the active change.  We are to constantly observe self and modify when we find self not in line with God’s word, God’s initiation. In order to do this we need to take time in deep consideration of God’s word and self-examination to see where we are not aligned with God’s initiation.  We are to keep on considering and modifying to become more and more aligned with God’s word, will, and way; to look more and more like Jesus. So now take some time, deeply consider reflection and let God show you ways to be more aligned with him and more accurately reflecting Jesus. 

*Post written to participate in one word blog carnival: