17 The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord’s Spirit is, there is freedom. 18 All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
I received a gift of two amaryllis bulbs for Christmas. They didn’t look very promising at first glance, the outer skin peeling and half covered in dirt with the tops sticking up above the moss covering that protects them. I’ve cared for them, and watered them on the sunny window sill, but nothing appeared. After four weeks, I thought they were dead, or worse my neglectful gardening killed them. Five and then six weeks, nothing, not a green leaf. But then week seven, a tiny sprout appeared, and the next day it was an inch tall, then twelve inches of growth. By week eight multiple flower buds appeared, turning toward the warmth of the sun. Finally they bloomed, glorious pink and white streaked flowers shining for all to see, dirty bulbs transformed into glory.
This is a metaphor for the transformation we experience when God’s love and mercy enters our lives. On our own we can do nothing, we’re just bulbs of potential. Then Christ enters our lives, and we are redeemed and blessed with the Holy Spirit to begin a lifelong journey of endless transformation. We experience freedom in Christ to grow into who God created us to be. From glory to glory, God transforms us. Like plants, we turn our unveiled faces toward God, and the light of the Holy Spirit creates us into loving, serving disciples of Christ. Like gazing into an ancient mirror, we can’t see clearly, we can only imagine what it will be like to stand, fully transformed, in God’s loving presence.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
In Paul’s time, mirrors weren’t made of polished glass, but were made of polished metal. The image you saw when you looked into it was distorted and blurry, not a true representation. We may not see the image of ourselves as God sees us, but God is at working transforming us into “that same image,” God’s image, for the transformation of the world.
Each of us on our spiritual journey feels like we go from dirty bulb stage, to green growth, to buds then blazing flowers. Sometimes we feel stuck and think nothing is happening. Don’t worry, for God is with us at every stage of transformation. What stage of growth do you feel like you’re in at the moment? Is your image of yourself the way God sees you, a beloved child of God or is it distorted by what others say about you, or even by what you tell yourself? How is God at work in your life transforming you? Spend some time today in the light of God’s presence, and experience God’s transforming love.
Prayer: Holy and Loving God, thank you for your Holy Spirit who is at work with in us, to transform us into your image. Continue to be with us at every stage of growth as we grow into loving, compassionate servants for your glory. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.