By John Kyle
Have you ever stopped to reflect on the word reflection? That might sound like a weird thing to do. If you can indulge me for a couple of minutes, I’d like to share a Christmas reflection on reflection.
There are so many ways to think about this word. We can look at our reflection in a mirror or enjoy moonlight reflecting on the water. We can stop and reflect upon something, or just stop to reflect in general. We might say that a child reflects his or her parents. Reflection is a beautifully complicated word that, er, reflects a beautifully complicated idea.
The Bible tells us that all human beings are reflections. Genesis 1:26-27 says that God made us in his image and likeness. By embracing this truth about ourselves, we can better understand calling, purpose, and meaning in our lives. In the New Testament, the call to live in alignment with our design is expressed in very understandable ways: be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1), be followers of Christ (I Peter 2:21). These verses point to our image-bearing nature. Christ himself, the new and better Adam, is described as the perfect imprint of God (Hebrews 1:3).
What are the practical implications of reflection for the Christian life? Well, at Christmastime, some of our songs call for goodwill and peace on earth. These are wonderful reflections (there’s that word again!) of Scripture, which calls us to love, bear one another’s burdens, and to be gentle and tenderhearted. Could it be that peace with one another will only be achieved as we grow in our ability to see and appreciate the God-reflecting dignity of others, even those who are hard to love and hard to appreciate?
In the work of peace-making, seeing the image of God in other people is incredibly practical. Perhaps a difficult image-bearer lives under your roof (or you under theirs). Perhaps you work with a difficult God-reflector in your office. Or maybe in some Washington DC way, they are “across the aisle” from you. Being an Ambassador of Christ involves, at least in part, sharing with the world – and demonstrating to the world – God’s good and beautifully complicated design for humanity and our image-bearing nature. Living by the Creator’s design is, after all, everyone’s best path for flourishing.
Each year, a group of young leaders comes to the Capital Fellows program at McLean Presbyterian Church to learn, among other things, how this truth plays out in Christian life and leadership. This program is a focused season for them to grow in Christ and in their knowledge and application of his Word. They “do life” with each other as well as with many people in our church and city. Our desire is that the Capital Fellows will grow in their leadership by seeing those that come into their lives as the God-reflectors that they are. In fact, this desire is not just for the fellows, but for all of us. May this Christmas season be a fresh opportunity to reflect on the beauty of Emmanuel and our reflection of him.
To Brigette, Caroline, Carter, Catherine, Corinne, Eliza, Grace, Hannah, Jack, Jacob, Josh, Joyce, Judah, Megan, and Spencer – thank you for coming on this journey! It has been a joy to share this time and to learn alongside you. Thanks for your work and commitment this fall. Enjoy your break and the chance to reflect upon the greatest news of all time: Jesus Christ, the perfect imprint of God, has come to get us.
John Kyle is the director of the Capital Fellows program. He also serves as the executive director of The Fellows Initiative, the national network of Fellows programs. He lives in Loudoun County, Virginia with his wife, Shirley. They have two daughters and two granddaughters.
Pictures From The Week
The Capital Fellows on the last day of class with Dr. Irwyn Ince who teaches their Leadership, Vocation, and Society class in the fall semester.
The Capital Fellows Christmas Commons with the results of their self-organized White Elephant Book Exchange.
Know a Potential Capital Fellow?
If you know a college senior or recent graduate who should consider joining the Capital Fellows program in 2024-25, please encourage them to get in touch with us. The easiest way to express interest in the program is through our Contact Us Form. You can learn more about the program, including application deadlines, by visiting the Capital Fellows website.
About Capital Fellows. Capital Fellows is an advanced leadership and discipleship program for recent college graduates. Through graduate courses, a paid internship, one-on-one mentoring, and many leadership and community service opportunities, fellows develop and apply their gifts in real-world situations while learning to integrate a Christian worldview into all areas of life. Capital Fellows is a unique opportunity to live and work in the Washington DC area and to be an active member of a supportive community that seeks to serve the city with the love of Christ. It is also a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in the workplace while deeply exploring God’s design for us as workers and contributors to human flourishing.
Pray for the Capital Fellows
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
The Capital Fellows are officially on break until 2024! Please pray for rest and refreshment as well as time for them to reflect on all God is doing in and through them. Pray for the host families, mentors, and professors who are also getting a little break over the coming days.
Want to pray for the current Capital Fellows in an ongoing way? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.
About The Fellows Initiative
Capital Fellows is part of a network of similar programs across the country. This network is called The Fellows Initiative. There are 34 Fellows programs in TFI, roughly 3,000 alumni living around the world, and more Fellows programs on the way.
If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining TFI by launching a new Fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.
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