Mothers’ Union Devotion Sunday 29th August the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. James 1. 22-24
How often have you stood in front of a mirror and asked the question – who is that old person looking back at me. Not me! I am – far younger than that, have more hair, am slimmer, less wrinkles. I could go on. A mirror is a lens which shows our surface image. They generally reflect back exactly what is placed before them unless they are the sort of trick mirror found in fairgrounds and circuses. But we don’t always like that outer image
Jean Cocteau the French poet and artist once wrote – ‘Mirrors would do well to reflect a little more before sending back images.’ It is of course not the mirror’s place to do the reflecting. That task falls to the looker. To reflect on ourselves a little more before we speak before we act. To reflect on our motivation, our integrity, and our honesty.
The letter of James encourages us to do just that; to pause, ponder and reflect on our response to the word of God. To examine not only our inner lives but also our active lives. Our hearing and our doing. That is not something any of us can do with a quick glance in the mirror. The Bible, however, is a good mirror to hold up to our lives, ourselves, our actions, in order to help us reflect on our response to God’s word. Regular reading and reflection of passages of Scripture gives us the opportunity to pause, ponder and listen to the values of God. Assessing our lives in the light of what we read and experience from the Word of God.
The letter of James is only 5 short chapters, around 2300 words but it has a great deal to make us think. To help us asses our inner selves. Perhaps we could commit to reading a chapter a week over the next five weeks. Taking the time to read each point reflectively. Looking into our lives to see how we measure up against James’ wisdom. So, unlike those who look in the mirror in James’ letter we don’t forget when we go away what we have seen and discovered about ourselves. Instead, we respond to our reflections in such a way that allows the word of God to become inscribed deep into our hearts and minds.
With all my love and prayers