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Earl Crow

Presently, many people are suffering. Providing safety nets for equality, justice and health is a way to express civic responsibility. Providing basic needs reveals kindness and concern. The power of Scripture informs us that in difficult times support can be found.

Mark in 12:30-31 gives advice for living one’s faith and living respectfully and kindly with others: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.” The words “as yourself” mean more than dropping a few bread crumbs to feed the hungry or a nice hello to a stranger. The last line could help to create an environment of hope and peace.

Turning to the study of Scripture, the question this week is about the meaning of “glory to glory” in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” There are different interpretations. I will present one.

In Exodus 34, Moses received the laws of God. When he returned with the laws written in stone, his face reflected the light and glory of God. His face had to be veiled because the people were afraid. The glory of receiving the laws of God was important to the faith. When Christ arrived, glory was seen in his unveiled face. God, through Christ, brought himself and his words to the people face to face. In 2 Corinthians 4:6, we find God’s words and action — “‘Let light shine out of darkness” — and he made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of his glory displayed in the face of Christ.” In 1 Corinthians 13:12, Paul said, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Revelation 21:3-4 reveals that in time the faithful will know God’s glory fully as he has known them fully: “God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

These accounts about Moses and Jesus could be “the Glory to Glory” in 2 Corinthians 3:18. It was a part of God’s plan to be revealed in the laws for Moses and later to reveal himself through Christ. The glory of Christ is a glory that increases to the final revelation of God.

As a side note, the Bible frequently used light and mirrors as metaphors for spiritual illumination. Early people made mirrors that vividly reflected light, causing a face in the mirror to be illuminated.

I enjoy scriptural study, but I appreciate passages that are easily applied to everyday living.

Many passages in the Bible are about love and easy to understand. Researchers report that the word “love” appears 310 times in 280 verses in the King James Version. A verse of guidance for people today is in John 13:34 when Jesus spoke to his disciples, “Love one another. As I have loved you.”

Words about love are written in 1 Corinthians 13:1-4: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”

The words in 1 Peter 4:8 reveal the need for love: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Simply stated love is strong enough to cover some personal flaws.

“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” — Proverbs 27:19

Earl Crow’s column is published Saturdays in the Winston-Salem Journal. Email him at ecrow1@triad.rr.com.

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