I wrote to you previously about the refining of silver and how it relates to those we serve who "may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials" so that their faith "may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:6-7 NIV).

It is this honour and glory about which I now wish to write to you! I've been thinking about reflection. Now "reflection" is a "throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing."1 Yet, as far as I can gather, this is as it relates to inanimate objects. I am not an inanimate object, and what I want to reflect is not light, heat nor sound. Rather, I am a person made in the image of God, in order to live in relationship with Him forever and according to His will for me. I am a sinner who falls short of the glory of God...all the time! But thanks be to God for Jesus Christ and His sacrifice so that I can "put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" (Colossians 3:10).

I want to absorb God's love for me. I also want to absorb His blessings and gifts, but I only get to keep them temporarily. It's as if I have to digest them and make them part of the makeup of my body -- part of the structure of my cells -- so that all I do, think, say and am is affected by that "ingesting."

Absorption is the opposite of reflection. Part of who God is can be absorbed when I am in a relationship with Him; and yet other aspects of His being can only be reflected. Glory is one of those things. In Exodus 34, we are told that "the Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God" (vs 14). He is not jealous of anything that we have by our own right, for the glory that goes to us from Him should not stay with us. As Moses descended the mountain on the day that God had spoken the above mentioned words to him, "he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord" (vs 29). He was reflecting God's glory, and it must have been really bright because his friends and community asked him to wear a veil to hide it from them!

It is a temptation -- whether here in our peaceful land of Canada or where God's children are facing immense suffering, struggle and pain on a daily basis -- to try to hold on to some of the glory that comes from the amazing things He can do in and through us. But none of that glory belongs to us, for when we try to claim any it corrupts, causing harm to ourselves and others.

Whatever we or our persecuted brothers and sisters may endure today, there is hope in Jesus Christ and His promise that these "present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). My prayer for us all is that we would "with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory (and be) transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18). May all the glory go to Him, now and forevermore!

To the Glorious One,

Jo Phillips
Executive Assistant
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada