Across the Brenner Pass from Austria to Italy on a summer’s day… The mountains of the South Tyrol include these gentle peaks and blend into the jagged limestone of the Dolomites. Trade routes have crossed here for centuries ever since the Romans built a military road in the second century B.C.
A railway from Innsbruck to Bolzano was completed in1867 and tourism began to become a vital part of the community life.
We stopped for a comfort break and my eye caught the reflection across the coach windows. Quirky, distorted, and not a picture to put on a chocolate box! (When I was growing up, chocolates were a luxury item and boxes usually had a “perfect” picture of a rose-covered cottage, or the Lake District in flawless detail.)
Reflections are intriguing. They conceal as well as reveal: we normally expect to look THROUGH glass. Light bouncing back from the surface changes that. Honestly, those coach windows are rather dull without a reflection! Many reflections would be uninspiring- but a range of mountains adds a touch of class to the glass.
What do our lives reflect? Or, to phrase it differently, can WE reflect God to the world?
The Bible talks about “glorifying God” which essentially means reflecting the attributes and beautiful character of God rather than allowing ourselves to be the focus of attention.
Creation does this: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.” (Psalm 19 v1-2)
Jesus explains the principle in Matthew 5 v14-16. Glorifying God is a life that reflects the attributes of God, a lifestyle that is consumed with putting His glory on display. Like a city built on a hill or a lamp set on a lampstand, glorifying God entails letting the light of the attributes of God shine before men so that others will join with us in glorifying our Father in heaven.
It’s hard to hide a city, let alone one on a mountain! Once a lamp is lit is GIVES light out.
When our hearts and minds are set on honouring and serving God, it is His Light that is seen (not our prideful self). As Paul puts it in Romans 4:20 “with respect to the promise of God, Abraham did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God.”
It’s about trust, faith, and obedience to the God of grace. Check out the reflection that others see when they look at us- does it reveal or conceal the glory of the Lord?