Saturday, March 7, 2015


For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. (I Corinthians 13:12)

They called it the enigma machine. It was a device that mechanically put messages into code. The most famous enigma machine was snatched off of a sinking Nazi U-boat in 1941. Using that machine as key, the Allies were able to decode Nazi naval messages for the rest of the war. Messages that otherwise would not have made sense, suddenly became crystal clear.

“Enigma” is a Greek word. It is the very same word that the apostle Paul used in this verse of the Bible. Translators have struggled to find a suitable word for our English language. The above translation uses the word “indistinctly.” Some translations read: “poor reflection” and “darkly.”

An enigma is a riddle, a puzzle.

With that in mind, the meaning of Paul’s words becomes easier to understand. Life often seems like a riddle. Sometimes God seems like a riddle to us. We wonder why God does this thing, but not that. We wonder how we fit into his greater plan. We wonder why he allowed certain things to come into our life—especially if they caused us anguish.

We simply do not have a clear vision of God. We have never seen him up close, and we are told that this is not possible during our earthly life.

Three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration caught a mere glimpse of him when the face and clothes of Jesus began to shine with a blinding light, and God the Father thundered from heaven: “This is my Son!”

It helps us to look into the account of what Jesus said and did while he lived on the earth. We gain insight as we listen to him throughout the pages of the Bible. We come to better understand the catastrophe that sin has caused this world, and the fierce anger of the holy God against it. We begin to grasp how high and wide is the mercy and love of God as we trace the unfolding of his plan of salvation through the pages of Scripture

The picture of heavenly things is not clear to those still living on earth. It’s like looking at a far off person’s reflection in a mirror. We see a general outline. We have some idea of his size. But, if that is all we can see, we still have questions.

How different if we stood face to face with the person! Then every detail would be clear.

It should not surprise us if we have questions about the details of God’s plans for us.

One day it will all be clear. One day we will understand everything perfectly. One day our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier will be an enigma no longer.

This devotion was written by Pastor Paul Ziemer

Saturday night service: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service: 10:00 am

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.