Thou rising moon with praise rejoice (Michindoh Post 5)

[This post is fifth of a series in which I reflect on spending a month at camp for Wyldlife (middle schoolers) and YoungLives (teen moms). You can follow by subscribing to this blog below. All posts are categorized as ‘Michindoh 2013’.]

Dateline: Wyldlife at Michindoh, Week 2, Day 1

Today is Day 1, second time over. 350 new campers and leaders. Eight separate welcomes. First round of scheduled rides. First leaders meeting. First all-camp meal. First club. First late-night event.

I’m not responsible for any of it – yet I’m tired just thinking about it.

The second leg of the relay race is difficult. The newness of Week 1, Day 1 is long worn off. The excitement of serving has settled down into the reality of a daily routine. The new friendships and relationships among staff are no longer new.

But these campers don’t know that, and shouldn’t be able to sense that. They deserve all the excitement of the first Day 1, and they will get the added benefit of a seasoned team who already knows the steps to the Day 1 Dance.

We look ahead with excitement. We also look back to learn.

On the last full night of camp Week 1, I saw this miraculous reflection of the moon on a still and sacred lake.

Reflected moon (Photo: CKirgiss)
Reflected moon (Photo: CKirgiss)

I was reminded of what all Believers are called to do: reflect the love and glory of God as clearly and brightly as possible.

Our attitudes and actions reflect only that which we know and love. It seems to me that there are three possible things to reflect – the world, the self, the Lord.

The first is easy. The second is natural. The third is impossible – on our own.

But still, it is our daily call and our lifelong challenge. As Solomon wrote, “As a face is reflected in water so the heart reflects the real person.”

Too often, the real person we reflect includes little of Jesus. Self so happily and naturally takes center stage.

Still, we pray and strive and strain to do this – to reflect Jesus well so that others see his love and grace and life through us (somehow, miraculously, amazingly).

But reflecting Jesus is not the ultimate goal.

If people only see Jesus as reflected in us, they have gained nothing.

The real goal is that people see Jesus himself.

I saw the beautifully reflected moon from a distance, from high up on the bank, behind a grove of trees. The beauty of what I saw drew me forward, one step, two steps, three steps, until I stepped out from under the trees, looked up, and saw this:

Moon (reflected) (Photo: CKirgiss)
Moon (reflected) (Photo: CKirgiss)

The real moon. The source.

We reflect Jesus so that others can see Jesus, period. So that they are drawn forward one step, two steps, three steps, until they step out from behind the trees, look up, and see the Real Thing. The Source. The Lord Jesus Christ, maker of heaven and earth, lover of my soul, saviour of the world.

Whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18
 
Amen. Amen. And amen.

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