You will become what you behold

You become what you behold


In ‘The Great Stone Face‘ by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character (Ernest) spends his life studying the face embossed on the mountain range where he lived. An Indian prophecy foretold of a child. This child would be come the greatest and noblest personage of his time and, in manhood, bear the same face as that of the stone. Ernest spent his life studying the stone face and looking for the man to appear. The years passed and no such man appeared, **SPOILER ALERT** until one day when Ernest took his place as a leader in the community himself. Without giving the story away, Ernest’s face had taken on the likeness of the face he studied his entire life.

You will become what you behold.

Matthew 17: 1-5

And after six days, Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you with, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a white cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

As if everything Peter, James and John had seen and experienced leading up to this point were not enough, Jesus transfiguring before their eyes must have disintegrated any doubt they had about who Jesus was.  These guys all knew Moses and Elijah from their own “Sunday school” days. Moses was the guy who represented the law of God. When he returned from receiving the famous stone tablets with God’s top ten list (the ten commandments), his face literally reflected the glory of God. Elijah accepted a duel against followers of the  Phoenician god Baal. This was a battle of the altars. The Phoenicians built their altar and Elijah built his. The winner would be the one whose god lit their altar on fire without human interference first. Elijah took it a step further and doused the altar he built with water. Both sides started praying and (after some friendly jabs at Baal’s absence), God ignited Elijah’s altar with fire from the sky, incinerating the altar as well as the rocks near it. Elijah represented the prophets of God by proclaiming the glory of God. Finally, Jesus, the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, now revealed the glory of God through his transfiguration.

So how should we respond? Our first response is seeing His worth. Second, listen to His Word. Third, life for His renown. Fourth, long for His return.

Today’s drawing takes a fantastical kind of Alice in Wonderland spin. A figure stands before a mirror. The reflection is faceless. As the figure reaches through the glass, the image they before them reaches back out. The foreshadowing of their shared gesture is they are about to become one entity. The figure is becoming the embodiment of their primary focus. The reflected figure is faceless because the image is a fill-in-the-blank statement. We all worship something. The face of our worship will vary drastically.

What face is in your mirror? Is it what you want it to be?


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