Sunday, April 17, 2005

"The Law is but a Mirror Bright..."

Every pastor has his favorite story which he uses again and again to illustrate a point. Mine has to do with the second use of the law - the law as a mirror.

When I was a vicar in Warren, Michigan, one of my duties was to give a brief devotion at the local nursing home each month. The staff would wheel in all the residents to the large common area, and park them there to hear me.

Most days, I was sure no one heard much of anything, as some suffered from dementia, and many slept the whole time I spoke (which was good practice for being a preacher - just kidding).

Anyway I tried to keep the talks simple. I was talking one day about the law of God, and how it shows our sins - like a mirror. In fact, I had with me a hand-held mirror as an object lesson. As I looked in the mirror, I talked about all that I noticed about myself that was wrong - everything I didn't like.

"Maybe I see my eyes, and I don't like their color. Maybe I see a blemish or a scar. Maybe I don't like the shape of my chin..."

And just when I was about done and ready to make my next point, one gravelly voice from the back of the hall spoke up loudly...


Great. At least I knew someone was listening.

But that voice. The voice from the back of the hall - that too is the voice of the law, pointing out sin. Just when you think you have exhausted it - just when you think you know your many sins - the law speaks up again and shows you somthing else.

Lex Semper Accusat. Indeed.

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