The House of Mirrors
In the first book of the series, Harry Potter and the alchemists Stoneh 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. Thatfs 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 youc. 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 yourselfc 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 Erisedc 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 shefd have been satisfied but I couldnft 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 think you should see?
What will you see?
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 Jesusf rebuke of Simon gGet behind me Satanh 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
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 perfecth x2 . For I feel that this was the manfs 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 didnft 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 wanth What is out true deepest desire. Harry potter couldnft talk about it but I can. I can because the mirror tells me so. Churches are full of gRich young menh 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 donft 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
"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."
wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me
the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole
forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If
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
angels." And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are
standing here will not taste death before they see the
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?