“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV)
One of my favourite chapters in the Bible is the thirteenth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. Teaching about the three basics of faith, hope and love. It especially details aspects of love. Accordingly it often is part of wedding ceremonies.
But placed just before the summary is the profound teaching of the twelfth verse, referenced above. I was recently reminded of this verse with the passing of a fellow resident.
When Dr. Ben moved in to our residence a number ofyears ago, he was assigned to sit at the same table where I sat so I got to know him reasonably well. He had recently sold his dental practice and was an avid follower of the local Toronto basketball team. He also was fond of a lovely new car he had just purchased.
He had two sons – one in New York and one in California – both of whom I was privileged to meet over the years. Undoubtedly however his greatest joy was his grandson in California who he had never met in person. Over the months I would overhear telephone conversations between Ben and his grandson.
Then one day his son brought the grandson to visit in person. I was fortunate to be present when the two met for the first time ever. As expected, Grandfather was thrilled to see Grandson for the first time. The real surprise, however, was his grandson’s response.
The young man was shocked to see his Grandfather alive in person. He thought that his Grandfather lived IN A BOX. He had only seen his grandpa in the device held by his parents when conversing with Ben. It was a pleasant surprise when he found he was able speak to, touch and feel a live person and not just an image IN A BOX!
Perhaps, like me, you sometimes long for the time when you can see the triune Godhead in person and not, as it were, IN A BOX. Fortunately the “Box” we have as a guide is the Bible and chapters like 1 Corinthians 13 show us how to live.
Dr. Kenneth West in his expanded translation of the New Testament published in 1961, writes about us seeing as children through a clouded mirror but concludes “but then I shall fully know even as also I was known”.
Even as we continue to struggle with only a partial knowledge of God and our inability to understand all that we daily face, may we have faith to believe, hope in the future that is promised for us and do our best to share love with others even when we sometimes mistakenly feel that God is IN A BOX!
Prayer: Dear Father, we are grateful that you have shared your Word with us. Help us to exercise faith, hope and most importantly love with others. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen
Toronto, Ontario, Canada