There are some days I think about important things. As a matter of fact, it has been many years now that I have awakened each morning thinking about the most important thing, the Main thing. With each passing day, these important things become more important.
So, today my mind wandered to the following thoughts:
Ecce homo (eCHā ˈhōˌmō) are the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate in the Vulgate translation of the Gospel of John when he presents a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. The original New Testament Greek: “ἰδοὺ ὁ ἄνθρωπος”, romanized: “idoú ho ánthropos”, is rendered by most English Bible translations, e.g. Douay-Rheims Bible and King James Version, as “behold the man“. The scene has been widely depicted in Christian art since the Renaissance period of our (former?) Christian culture.
While browsing a second-hand shop some years ago, I happened across a decorative picture frame empty of any rendering. At the base of the setting was a brass plate affixed with the words “Ecce Homo” engraved. Apparently, the original art depicting Christ had been removed, leaving the engraved plate with the resale frame.
I stood for a time contemplating that frame with those words. My thoughts were deeply engrossed in the scene of the Bible the words describe. “Behold the Man.” John 19:5 KJV
My thoughts then traveled to Romans chapter eight, verse twenty-nine,
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
I quizzed myself, “how am I doing being conformed to the likeness of Jesus?”
Ecce Homo? This should be the number one focus of my life. And I thought, “This frame if framing a mirror, would make a wonderful daily reminder if hanging in a likely spot.” I bought the frame, later a mirror to fit. I hung it in my study overlooking my desk.
Having downsized after retirement, I gave it to my son. He and his wife had bought a new house, I knew he would like to have it as a house warming gift. He had always admired it, often saying he wished he had one just like it.
At times, I used to stand in front of it, seeing a once youthful face no longer young, and I would ask of the Lord, “Ecce Homo, Lord?” But this request was in reference of the heart, not the reflected face looking back at me.
I must admit, though, I didn’t need that framed mirror as a reminder. I see reminders of the cross in daily life in some unlikely places. While driving down the road, I see the cross when I look at telephone poles along the way, with the crossbeams bearing electrical lines. Utility poles reminding me of the cross of Calvary? It’s a matter of where the heart is focused. Our heart is the true mirror. We can get an honest reflection of the heart through the washing of the Word in the Scriptures, and reading daily – that and time with the Lord in prayer.
I recognize my memory is faltering. But I’m consoled knowing my heart is more fixed and steadfast than in the days when my youthful memory was nearly photographic. It’s the heart the Lord often prompts us to examine in His presence. I trust the good Lord is bringing me along just fine, in His time.
But enough about me…how are you doing? No, really. How are you doing?
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9
The Bible is the true mirror of our hearts.