I have always liked the analogy of Christians and the moon. We, like the moon, are to reflect the glory of Jesus and the presence of God as the moon reflects the sun. If you have ever experienced the brightness of a full moon in the wilderness, the analogy becomes all the more powerful. I have experienced a full moon so bright it looked like day and almost hurt my eyes to gaze upon it, and thought to myself, “That’s it! That is what it means to be like the moon.” Christians so powerfully reflect the Son that it changes the world, bringing light into darkness. And the phases of the moon are like the struggles in our lives as we seek to cooperate with the working of God’s Spirit so more and more of our life is in a position to reflect the Son’s light. But is this picutre entirely accurate?
As I reflect more deeply upon this analogy, I think not. I believe something more radical takes place in our lives than merely reflecting the glory of God’s presence. I think as Christians we manifest and showcase the reality and presence of God in a very real and profound way. As Christians, we are the temple of God; it is not we who live but Christ who lives in us. The apostle Paul’s desire and goal for those who know Christ is that Christ would be formed in them. These images and truths speak of more than mere reflection of the Son. They point to Christ living in us. They seem to indicate that the reality of Jesus can be experienced as people encounter us, not in some mechanical “what would Jesus do” sort of way, but rather naturally flowing from an organic reality in us. We are to ‘live’ Jesus, not do Jesus.
We are not the moon, but in some limited yet profound way we are the Son. We do not merely reflect the reality of the Son; we are Christians, which means “little Christ’s”, we seek to ‘live Jesus’. This ‘living Jesus’ brings not only the brightness of Jesus into the lives of others, but the warmth and growth producing qualities of His presence to them as well. Thus, unlike the moon that reflects the light of the sun but is unable to provide the life sustaining and health producing qualities that flow from the sun, both of these qualities flow from us to others. This realization brings a greater appreciation of the importance of my walk with Jesus and my presence in the world.
Before, I was the moon and so I would naturally reflect the Son, but now I am seeking to allow the Son to shine forth from within me – to express the love, the hope, the power, the reality of Jesus who lives in me. Somehow it feels like I need to be more intentional with my cooperation with the Spirit; to discipline myself for the purpose of Godliness, to press on, to strain forward for all that is mine in Christ Jesus so that I ‘live Jesus’ in this world…so I can truly be a Christian (little Christ) who brings the life-giving reality of the Son into the relationships and circumstances of my life.
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