Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reflections in a Bible verse

Yesterday, I wrote about reflections.  Yesterday, the team I run with for Back on My Feet was encouraged to think about reflections.  When I typed in "reflection and Bible verse" into a web search, I stumbled upon the verses that connect the "Love is patient, love is kind...Love never fails..." verses with "and the greatest of these is love."  (The verse (1 Cor 13:13)that began my interest connecting my running to verses from the Bible.)

What is in between? Well, I'm not going to quote the Catholic translation in this case as it does not use the word "reflection".  It uses an alternative "indistinctly", and you'll see why in a moment.  The use of reflection in this case is not "pondering" but "an image".  Here are the verses surrounding reflection from the New International Version.  The connect "Love never fails..." the the verse that ends with "the greatest of these is love."

"Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  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."

So, this verse is not about reflection as pondering as I have been doing on a daily basis during Lent. Instead, this is reflection as an image that is not the complete or perfect image.  In the same way that our actions as adults are not supposed to be childish--not that we cannot have fun, just that our actions should be preceded by thought.

All of this is in the context of the coming of the Kingdom of God and contrasting each of these other things "prophesy," "knowledge," "reasoning" are temporary and changeable.  Our holiness is supposed to be constant. God's is.  And of the faith, hope, and love that make up holiness, the highest of these is love.  

Despite the difference interpretation of "reflection", I still find it quite useful for me as a verse for today as it suggests the incompleteness that my pondering reflections seeks to complete as I continue to use my love of others to guide my running and every other activity of my day.

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