Part of the adjustments, mendings and general sorting out of the lift has been to replace the lights.
They are now very bright and very white.
The back wall of the lift is a mirror.
So now, when we enter the lift, we are treated to a very harsh, very stark reflection of ourselves.
I have to say that the image thus presented is not, for most of us, at all flattering. It is a harsh light and there is nowhere to hide.
It may be that this is a very appropriate thing to face us as we come to church. After all, it is here that we are often brought face to face with our faults and failings. here that each week as we start worship that we ask for forgiveness, here that we are confronted with the call to holiness and the honest realisation that we have missed the mark.
There is a hymn which has as its first verse
"Eternal light eternal light! How pure the soul must be, which placed within your searching sight returns you gaze with calm delight and does not shrink or flee"
This echoes in my mind every time I get in the lift.
And it is a useful reminder that there is stuff in my heart, soul, mind and actions that really do not stand up to scrutiny in the light of the Holy One.
But I wonder....I wonder if the "light of God" is as harsh as the light I experience in the lift.
The Scripture verse that talks of God as light (James 1;17) is speaking about the good gifts of God, in whom there is no shadow of change. When Jesus talks about being the light of the world, he is encouraging faith and confidence.
The light that people fear, that shows up sin, is there, but it is to do with our own capacity to see ourselves, not God's judgement of us.
It is right that we see ourselves clearly - but lets not assume that the harshness of our judgement - of ourselves or of each other - is God's final word. God's final word is love; unchanging and without shadow.
Which is some comfort as I see my face in the mirror and wonder why I look like I have just crawled out from under a stone.....