Reflections of the Heart Should Reveal the Cross

Reflections are Lessons in the Physics of Light

Scientific and Heavenly

As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person. Proverbs 27:19 (NLT)
Reflections of the Heart

This has been a week of reflections; reflections of historical events, reflections of the meaning of the cross, reflections of who exactly is Jesus Christ, reflections of what this means for us. He is known by many names as research dictates close to 200 different names have been given as titles to Christ throughout the historical documents of both the Old and New Testaments. Whatever name we may title Him with it is not the name that needs to be focused upon but whom He is and what He stands for in our lives on earth and eternity. When we think of His sacrifice for us we should stand in awe and strive to make our lives be reflections of who we know Him to be.

Webster’s Dictionary states that a reflection is an effect produced by influence. So if we look to the sacrifice that Christ made for us and the influence it should have upon us there should be a visible effect produced because of such. My artwork often leans toward a great deal of photography which is the physics of light in terms of science. I have a small reputation for shooting photography with reflections being the main focus therefore I must have a basic working knowledge and understanding of this area of science. I have over time come to make some observations on my thoughts regarding how the laws of physics work with the laws of God.

Law of Reflection
Law of Reflection

The Law of Reflection states that when a ray of light reflects off of a surface the angle of incident is equal to the angle of reflection. So there are two angles that must equal each other for a true reflection or mirror image to take place. The angle of incident falls between the “I” ray to the “N” line segment (normal) and the angle of reflection falls between the “N” line segment to the “R” ray. Therefore the influencing object that produces the reflection is the light ray coming in on the “I” incident ray (the blue ray) and bouncing off of the reflecting object at the center point of the “N”, normal line segment, and heading out to be seen on the “R” reflected ray (the red ray). This brief working knowledge of reflections with the physics of light is very easily applied to the laws of God.

Christ's Law of Reflection
Christ’s Law of Reflection

The incident ray (“I” the blue ray) comes from the light of God. The influencing factor to produce the effect is specifically our faith and belief in Christ and all that He stands for so this angle is shooting to us, man in general as we become the reflecting surface for the influencing factor that is to be reflected from us. If the angle of incident (“I” the blue ray), belief in Christ and His teaching are in our perfect sight then the angle of reflection (“R” the red ray) will equal our heart to others in which we become the reflecting ray (“R” red ray). Now if all were just that simple and we were all perfect then we would all reflect Christ in a mirror image. However there are some other physics applications that should be known as we do not live in a perfect world for we are not perfect.

 

Life Firmly Planted with God Reveal Specular Reflections
Life Firmly Planted with God Reveal Specular Reflections

A true reflection is only revealed from a smooth surface. This is known as a specular reflection which has the properties of a mirror as it is a smooth surface reflection. A reflection can still be obtained however from a non-smooth surface but there will be a distortion which is known as a diffuse reflection.

Scattered Reflections Reveal a Scattered Heart
Scattered Reflections Reveal a Scattered Heart

A diffused reflection scatters or disseminates the light which is further complicated if the properties of the object is both smooth and rough for example an asphalt road. During the day the light bounces off the rough surface of the asphalt and we can clearly see the road however if the road gets wet and night occurs at the same time the same rough surface now is also smooth and when light hits it from cars it is blinding and causes confusion on what exactly is seen. Application of these thoughts to the ways our lives reflect our knowledge and belief in Christ and the foundation in God’s laws provoke contemplation.

A true reflection of Christ in us is seen by others if we have the calm waters of God, given to us through the peace and comfort of our eternal future as secured by Christ. If our lives allow the power of the materialistic world and earthly influences to ripple our water disturbing our relationship with God the image of Christ will become abstracted and the distortion is seen by others. This abstraction of Christ viewed by others in us falls in two categories; slight or unrecognizable.

So the question really is how do we want the reflections of our heart to look to others? Do we strive for a specular reflection or should we be satisfied with diffused reflections? How do our reflections here on earth effect our eternal lives? Our focus verse this week is from Proverbs 27:19;

As a face is reflected in water so the heart reflects the real person. (NLT)

Reflections Revealing the Cross Should Not Be Abstracted

We are part of a society of diffused and missing reflections. This is due to many things primarily because we are full of sin. No matter how hard we may try we cannot escape the sin in our lives. We often attempt to categorize the sin in new little groups judging and comparing our sins to someone else’s sins somehow thinking it will better our reflection. We want to make ourselves look better than those “other” people even if it is only in our mind unfortunately this only creates further a more distorted reflection of Christ. An informal poll conducted recently revealed that 9 out of 10 people feel they are good people and that because they are good they will go to heaven. The Bible clearly states that this is not the way to heaven. The only way to heaven is through the sacrifice that Christ made for us in which we celebrate today. Praise God that He has risen and lives! God loves us so much that He gave His only son for our pitiful sinful lives. We, who believe and make our lives available to Him through faith and trust, will have eternal perfect lives. It is through this belief that we strive to have a more specular reflection of Christ. It matters not whose sin we think is worse for God’s justice is not ours. It is time we stop judging each other’s sins and show our love, our hearts, and our reflections of Christ who gave His life for us.

He didn’t just agree to die, He suffered profusely, and the humiliation He experienced is beyond belief. I have found myself this week like no time in the past seeming to have a deeper understanding of what He must have endured and how He must have felt but even with all my mind I really can’t truly understand I can only sympathize and give empathy. It was so grossly wrong and no one should have to suffer as such. But to make matters worse we know He did so having done no wrong yet He willingly went saying nothing and never fighting back. That is the heart of Christ, the heart of one who sits at the right hand of God, our Father Almighty, the one who saved our lives. We are asked in return very little beyond our trust, belief, and relationship. Yet it is those three things that should spurn us to do more, to love beyond our own belief.

There is a hymn written by Peter Scholtes, in 1966 entitled, They’ll Know We are Christians. The Copyright is held by F.E.L. Publications. This beautifully written song simplifies how the reflections of our heart should reveal Christ.


Performed by Jars of Clay

We are one in the spirit We are one in the Lord

We are one in the spirit We are one in the Lord

And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

CHORUS:

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand

And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land.

CHORUS

We will work with each other, we will work side by side

We will work with each other, we will work side by side

And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride

CHORUS

All praise to the Father from whom all things come,

And all praise to Christ Jesus, his only son,

And all praise to the Spirit who makes us one.

CHORUS

The cross should reveal the reflections of our heart. The world should know we are Christians by our reflections of love. Jesus gives us the greatest command and follows up with the second greatest commandment in Mark 12:30 – 31;

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important; “Love your neighbor as yourself,” No other commandment is greater than these.” (NLT)

When we question what we should do we need look to these two commandments. When we want to be sure our heart reflects Christ to others we must look to these two commandments. This is what makes us a “good person” our true heart is often revealed in our speech and behavior. Luke 6:45 tells us;

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. (NLT)

We can go to church every Sunday, volunteer for every committee, travel on every mission trip but if we are only filling a pew, a place, or a space and we do not love others then we cannot truly show love in our speech and actions and our hearts will not show reflections of the cross. We have to do more than show up to our designated pew when the church doors open, we must do more than listen to God’s Word, we must believe it with our minds (hearts), we must obey it by doing it, we must live it. As it tells us in James 1:22-25;

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard then God will bless you for doing it. (NLT)

We must put to action all we see, hear, and learn. It is so easy to get sidetracked by the world. We are surrounded more today than any other historical time with images and sounds that tell us everything from what we should look like, how we should act, and what we should do to be this or that; much of which is not in line with God’s commandments. We have to be careful that the world does not fade away our beliefs. It doesn’t seem like much at first but slowly it will creep upon us and then we realize that our hearts do not reveal reflections of the cross. Our reflections slowly fade from the calm peace of God and become diffused, abstracted. The more we allow outside earthly influences to ripple the water the more abstracted our reflections become until no one can recognize any part of the reflections to be issued from the cross. Casting Crowns, lead singer, Mark Hall, wrote the song Slow Fade in 2007 which addresses this very thing. We must stand strong.

Verse 1
Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands
As darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you
That are sure to follow

Chorus 1
It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white
Have turned to gray
And thoughts invade choices are made
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
(It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade)

Verse 2
Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise
The end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises
Lead broken hearts astray

(Repeat Chorus)

Bridge
The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

Chorus 2
And it’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white
Have turned to gray
And thoughts invade choices are made
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Fam’lies never crumble n a day

Ending
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

Today we celebrate the news that Christ has Risen! He paid too great a price for our salvation for us to allow the world to slowly fade away our beliefs and reflections so that those we should be influencing cannot recognize the cross because of our abstracted revealed reflections.

We should strive for specular reflections but must remember that we all sin and whether we think they are little or big they are what they are and none give us eternal life regardless of the justifications we tell ourselves as that will only further abstract the reflections of the cross. All sin separates us from God (Romans 3:23) but the good news is that all sin can be forgiven if we truly repent, ask and believe.

That is the good news! The good news that we should be sharing each and every day by showing the world we are Christians through the love that our actions show because the reflections of our hearts are consistently revealing the cross.

Happy, Wonderful, Glorious Easter!

Praise God He has Risen! May we all blind the world this week and the weeks to come with the love light reflecting from us due to the influences of the cross.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

 What are your thoughts? Join us in Discussion.

Have you learned to overcome the influences of the world and not reveal diffused reflections of the cross? Are you “good” or “good enough”? Do you find yourself categorizing sin as little and big placing judgment on others? What actions do you feel we as Christians need to show the world to show them Christ? Join us in discussion by answering these questions or other thoughts and comments you may have upon reflection.

How God is working through your life?