The Mirrors of the Lord

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord.
— 2 Corinthians 3:18

Consider the words of 2 Corinthians 3:18. “We need no Moses,” Paul is, in essence, saying, “no earthly mediator, to come between us and the light, and bring out for us a little of the glory. We go into the presence of the Son revealing the Father--into the presence of the Light of men. Our mediator is the Lord himself, the spirit of light, a mediator not sent by us to God to bring back his will, but come from God to bring us himself. We enter, like Moses, into the presence of the visible, radiant God—only how much more visible, more radiant! As Moses stood with uncovered face receiving the glory of God full upon it, so full in the light of the glory of God we stand—you and I, Corinthians. It is no reflected light we see, but the glory of God shining in and from the face of Christ, the glory of the Father, one with the Son. Israel saw but the fading reflection of the glory of God on the face of Moses; we see the glory itself in the face of Jesus.”  But translations that have “beholding as in a glass,” or “reflecting as a mirror,” miss the meaning. The idea, with the figure, is that of a poet, not a man of science. The poet deals with the outer show of things, which is infinitely deeper in its relation to truth, as well as more practically useful, than the analysis of the man of science. Paul never thought of the mirror as reflecting, as throwing back the rays of light from its surface; he thought of it as receiving, taking into itself, the things presented to it—as filling its bosom with the glory it looks upon. Imagine the face of your friend in a mirror: the mirror seems to hold it in itself, to surround the visage with its liquid embrace.