The House of Mirrors

 Speaker: M.Noorhoff

In the first book of the series, Harry Potter and the alchemists Stoneh we are introduced to a very special mirror called the Mirror of Erised. The mirror is no ordinary mirror but a magic mirror that is said to show us that which our deepest desire for ourselves.

As some (many? all?) of you know, Harry has had a difficult childhood. Orphaned as an infant, he has been raised by a rather unsympathetic aunt and uncle. As the story begins, it has just been revealed to Harry, much to his surprise, that he is a wizard and he has gone off to begin his studies at Hogwarts School of Wizardry. A place, we might say, where it seems that all things are possible. In the course of his time there, Harry happens upon an empty, disused classroom in a remote part of the school. It contains only a large mirror. When Harry looks into the mirror, Harry, the orphan, is overwhelmed to discover that he sees himself surrounded by his loving parents and family. Captivated, Harry sneaks out of bed night after night to gaze longingly into the mirror, to see himself in the midst of the family he has never known.

One night Harry is startled to realize that the wise headmaster Aldus Dumbledore is also in the room, watching as Harry stares into the mirror. Dumbledore tells Harry about the mirror. It is called the mirror of Erised. Thatfs Desire, spelled backwards. Desire. The mirror of Erised, Dumbledore says, "shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around youc. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is."

What would you see if you looked into the Mirror of Erised? A mirror that reflects back to your eyes your deepest desire about yourselfc Is it your desire to be trimmer, or younger, or older? To have more family, or less? To spend your time differently? To be more courageous? More honest? More famous? More gentle? More spontaneous? More diligent? What would you see in the Mirror of Erisedc A mirror that brings to life the unfulfilled desires of our lives?

Dumbledore says that the happiest person on earth would look in that mirror and see herself just as she is. Such a person would have lived into her true potential and abandoned all unreasonable desires. Psychologists agree with Dumbledore and speak about the fully self-actualized individual as the goal of psychological health. Such a person is self-aware, has a positive self-image, and reasonable or appropriate expectations of life with no unfulfilled desires. 

The other week a student who had read Harry Potter asked me about the mirror, specifically what would I see?

Now at this point let me ask you all

What would you see?

The question seemed simple enough but it stuck into me and I realized that it was a question that could not be answered lightly. I could have given a simple answer and shefd have been satisfied but I couldnft the question demanded more so I ask back a series of questions: What do I want to see?, What do I think I should see?, What is my true deepest desire?

Take a moment and think about them.

 What do you want to see?

What do you think you should see?

What will you see?

 The third one was the scariest for me. I know I want to see Jesus for I think I desire Him above all else.

I know as a Christian he is what I should see but I wonder if the sin that is still within me would allow that

That brings me to what I will see. To be totally honest I wonder if my deepest desire is Jesus. Let me clarify that I wonder if I would see Jesus or sin. And if sin what shape would it take. Would it take the form of vanity, greed, pride, would I see only myself or would I see my self trying to take the Crown from Christ. In last weeks morning sermon we looked at Jesusf rebuke of Simon gGet behind me Satanh These are questions that as Christians we must ask ourselves honestly. But is that enough, do we need a magic mirror to show ourselves who we truly are? Perhaps we already have one. Lets look at Matthew 19:34-     again

 The Young mans intentions were good I honestly believe that. I believe he honestly thought he was being honest when he approach Jesus. His desire was to do something good but we must question whether it was truly his deepest desire. He thought Jesus would be happy at his offer. Maybe he could even help out Jesus himself after all every good teacher needs a sponsor. But as he looked into the eyes of the Lord his true heart was reflected. Maybe he saw who he truly was a his true desire. I wonder about this man at times. What happened to him after his encounter with Jesus. The bible says he went away sad but wee donft get any more information about him. Was he simply sad or was he disappointed or did he feel guilty. We donft know. Did he continue to mull over the words of Jesus after they parted. Did the words stick with him? Did he later consider giving it all away and follow Jesus. Did he talk to his gfriendsh and they convinced him not to follow the words of that teacher. He was a good man he followed the law. And after all look at the kind of people who we with Jesus fisherman and tax collectors would he really want to associate with that kind of riff-raff. Did the eyes of Jesus haunt him? Did he reject what his heart had been telling him that Jesus was the messiah? Did he lie to himself Did he comfort himself with his money. Have you ever considered what happened to him. I pray he was amongst those who came to follow Jesus.

Jesus hit it right on the head in his soft tone Jesus spoke to the man as if speaking to a child. There was no anger in his voice Jesus just wanted to make the man understand to truly see himself gIf you want to be perfecth x2 . For I feel that this was the manfs true desire not heaven but to be simply viewed as good as perfect. He hoped to see himself in that mirror. For living under the law creates a person who wishes to perfect himself be deed. He was probably handsome, had committed no crime no broke the law or at least if he did he sacrificed for it. He was a good son and kind to others. He didnft smoke or drink too much or gamble. he did everything right and he knew it. Did he want Jesus to praise him and Say gyou have done everything you need to do, you are perfect in my sight I only wish more could be like you.h

If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven, then come follow me.

What Jesus was saying was all you really have to do is follow me. Look at those I walk with, would you consider them perfect but because they follow me I will lead them into heaven. Will you follow me with all your heart and soul and body


I am the way the truth and the life, only through me can you be save, only through me can you enter heaven.

We nee to ask ourselves gwhat do we wanth What is out true deepest desire. Harry potter couldnft talk about it but I can. I can because the mirror tells me so.  Churches are full of gRich young menh People who attend because they are seeking perfection, people who want to be seen or known for the good they do. People who must go to the right church and know the right people. Yes even today our churches are full of Pharisees donft let yourself be one. We must come to Jesus not with the heart of a rich man but the heart of a beggar. Luke 16:19-31

 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"

Matthew 6:5

 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

Luke 18: 9-14

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:  "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Mark 8:35

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."

 Matthew 10:39

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Look into the eyes of our Lord and Listen to his word and you will see the true you. For none are perfect but we are each and everyone of us sinners. But he promises that if we believe in him and follow him trying to walk in his footsteps we shall receive the key to the kingdom of heaven. And when we look in that mirror of desire we will see Him looking back to us saying Come follow me. For we will no longer see ourselves but we will be transformed

2 Corinthians 3:18

18  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.


What do you see?