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

The best word to represent the Greek, and the most literal as well by which to translate it, is the verb mirror, so that 2 Cor. 3:18 would read “But we all, with unveiled face, mirroring the glory of the Lord…” The prophet-apostle seems to me to say “We all, with clear vision of the Lord, mirroring in our hearts his glory, even as a mirror would take into itself his face, are thereby changed into his likeness, his glory working our glory, by the present power, in our inmost being, of the Lord, the spirit.” Our mirroring of Christ, then, is one with the presence of his spirit in us. The idea, you see, is not the reflection, the radiating of the light of Christ on others, though that were an image true enough; but the taking into, and having in us, him working to the changing of us. It is but according to the law of symbol, that the thing symbolized by the mirror should have properties far beyond those of leaded glass or polished metal, seeing it is a live soul understanding that which it takes into its deeps. It mirrors by its will to hold in its mirror. Unlike its symbol, it can hold not merely the outward resemblance, but the inward likeness of the person revealed by it; it is open to the influences of that which it embraces, and is capable of active cooperation with them. Paul’s idea is that when we take into our understanding, our heart, the glory of God, namely Jesus Christ as he shows himself to our eyes, our hearts, our consciences, he works upon us, and will keep working, till we are changed to the very likeness we have thus mirrored in us; for with his likeness he comes himself, and dwells in us.