Summary: Did you realised that you are called to be a "vanity mirror"

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DC 23-07-06

The theme of this morning service is Jesus’ words “I am the Light of the world” (Jn 9:5)

Story: About 14 years ago I went on a training conference when I was working as a Patent Attorney for a Swiss multinational company called Sandoz.

And one of the conundrums they set us to test our ingenuity was this:

You are in a plane flying over the desert and as you are sitting near the cockpit you hear the Captain giving his co-ordinates to the tower at 15.00 hours.

Half an hour later, however the plane crashes in an uninhabited part of the desert in which the only vegetation is a few cactus trees.

But before the plane crashes you hear the Captain sending off an SOS message to the tower and you hear them reply – but you can’t make out what they have said.

The plane crashes and no one is hurt but the radio is totally destroyed and it looks as if the plane is going to explode in a few minutes time

In the plane there are only ten things that you can see that can be taken out of the plane – but you can only take three of them.

What three items would best ensure your survival and why.

You have three minute to get into groups to decide:

The ten items are:

1. A bottle of water

2. A box of salt tablets

3. A parachute

4. A knife

5. A sun hat

6. A lady’s vanity mirror

7. A watch

8. A compass

9. A first aid box

10. Sunglasses

Question: What are those three most important items that you would take from the plane to ensure your survival?

You only have three minutes to decide what to take starting NOW.

Three minutes later. STOP.

What did you decide?

The answer- according to the US Military’s top survival expert was as follows:

3. The third most important item was the knife – because it can be used to cut the cactuses to provide drinking water

2. The second most important item is the parachute – because once the plane blows up you will have no shelter from the sun

1. The most important item is the lady’s mirror, because you can use it to reflect the sun and so attract the attention of any plane sent out to look for you.

So what you might ask has this got to do with Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel:

“I am the light of the world.” (Jn 8:12)

Well this morning I would like to suggest to you that we, as members of the church we are like the LADY’S MIRROR

If Jesus is the Sun that illuminates the world, we are the little mirrors that God calls to reflect Jesus’ glory in the world.

Story: If you go to St Mary in the Marsh, you will see a stain glass window with a picture very similar to a famous painting.

Let me give you some clues:

1. There are three original copies

2. The first copy was painted between 1851-1853

3. The artist had the following Bible verse printed on the frame: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me’.

4. One copy is in Manchester City Art Gallery

5. A second copy is in Keble College Oxford

6. The third is in St. Paul’s Cathedral

7. The artist was Holman Hunt

Of course it is the famous “Light of the World” by Holman Hunt,

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