Summary: In sharing God's great commandment we must understand how to love ourselves and love others. By seeing ourselves in God's mirror we are better able to have a spiritual self love and thereby live a life of love for God and others.
Theme: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You
Proposition: In Sharing the Great Commandment, Jesus focuses on our love for God, our love for others and our love for ourselves. This sermon is designed to help us see ourselves as God sees us thereby allowing us to look at others through the same lens. God sees us as 1. A wonderful and beautiful creation 2. God sees us a people to love 3. God sees us as people to whom He can be One with and 4. God sees us as People to redeem, renew and restore.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?" asks the Evil Queen.
That question was posed each day by the evil Queen in the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Every day she looked forward to her magic mirror telling her that she was by far the fairest of them all. Each day the Evil Queen would wake up, go to her mirror to receiver her daily affirmation. However, one day, the mirror revealed to her that that Snow White was now the most fairest of all in the land. Snow White had replaced the Evil Queen as the fairest of them all. The Evil Queen became outraged and from that day forward, the Evil Queen plotted Snow White's death. The power of a mirror.
Did you know this morning that mirrors have been around a very long time? What we know as mirrors today were invented in Germany 180 years ago. In 1835, a German chemist, Justus von Liebig developed a process for applying a thin layer of metallic silver to one side of a pane of clear glass and the first modern mirror was created. Von Liebig's technique was quickly adapted and improved upon, allowing for the mass production of mirrors all over the world. Over time mirrors became a commonplace piece of furniture in home everywhere.
Today, most homes in America have on average eight wall mirrors. Did you know according to most studies the average American woman looks in a mirror at least 8 to 10 times daily, but over 70% say that they do not like what they see. At least a fourth of the women say that they look in the mirror over 20 times a day. How do men do? On average, men don't look into mirrors as much, but one interesting study in Britain showed that vain men shared that they had to look at themselves over 30 times a day. The power of a mirror.
History tells us that the earliest mirrors of course, were pools of water where people would gaze at their reflections. According to vision scientist Dr. Jay Enoch in the journal Optometry and Vision Science, people in Anatolia, (modern-day Turkey) manufactured the first man made mirrors out of ground and polished obsidian (volcanic glass) about 8,000 years ago. Mirrors made of polished copper later popped up in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) and Egypt from 4000 to 3000 B.C . About 1,000 years later, people in Central and South America began making mirrors out of polished stone, while Chinese and Indian mirror makers crafted them out of bronze. Mirrors have been around for a long time, allowing us to look at ourselves and others.
Mirrors are valuable tools most of us use every day. They enable us to shave better and be able to see what we are doing when it comes to brushing or combing our hair. They enable us to see if we look presentable enough to go outside and for the ladies mirrors are great friends in helping them put on makeup and lipstick. A mirror helps us see to see what we look like at a particular time and place. But mirrors have other uses as well. Think how valuable mirrors are in helping us drive our vehicles or providing a measure of safety in the stores we shop.
This morning, I would like to take the metaphor of a mirror and expand it just a little. This morning, I would like to invite all of us to look at a very particular mirror. A supernatural mirror created by our Heavenly Father. I would like for us to see what we look like in God's mirror.
Why? If we can understand this morning what we look like in God's mirror, it will help us to better understand ourselves and even how we are to understand other people. By looking in God's mirror we can better understand how we are to treat one another. By looking in God's mirror we can better live out a life of loving God, loving ourselves and loving others.
In Mark 12:28-34, our writer shares with us Jesus' conversation with a particular scribe. This particular scribe had been observing Jesus as he talked to some Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians. They were asking Jesus all kinds of questions. Not your normal run of the mill questions, but questions that centered around the hot button issues of their day. Jesus' inquirers were asking questions that ranged from politics to theology, from taxes to everlasting life.