Veil or Mirror

given on Sunday, February 7, 2016 

 

 

Veil or Mirror?

 

Scripture Foundation: 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2 NLT

12 Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. 14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

4 Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,[a] we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

Reflection:

 

            Waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror is not one of the more reassuring steps of the day. The eyes are not focused, the skin looks tired, the hair is a fright, and a frown seems permanently cemented in the mirror. Thank goodness no one else sees it.

Yet a transfiguration does occur once you complete the morning routine. Maybe it is a cup of coffee or tea to begin or maybe it starts with a morning shower or a shave. Each routine step begins changing the image in the mirror. By the time you finish the routine and the shoes are on, the watch adjusted on the wrist, and the last check in the mirror shows a much-improved image ready to face the day.

The transformation from the sleepy image in the mirror to the polished image ready for the day takes a well-practiced routine each day. The transfiguration that Moses underwent was a result of the face-to-face meeting with God on the mountain. The transfiguration of Jesus came in the meeting with Moses and Elijah while praying on the mountain. Our personal transfiguration is a process that must be followed daily.

Consider each example as outlined in scripture:

  • Exodus 34:When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant,[a] he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord.
  • Luke 9: 29 And as he (Jesus) was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white.

 

The stories of these transfigurations provides a range of comparisons and contrasts, but the results were the same—the radiance. Both experiences are recorded as a radiance that was so bright, so dazzling white that it could blind those seeing their faces.

In the Old Testament story of Moses, the radiance was so intense that people were frightened. Moses began wearing a veil to hide the radiance while he was out with the people and he removed the veil when in the presence of God only.

Jesus’ transfiguration did not frighten the people in the same manner. Instead, the radiance in Jesus’ face drew people to him. The veil protected the ancient Israelites, but with Jesus the veil was removed—allegorically. With Jesus, the radiance is love. Love, God’s love, reaches out to others and they are drawn to those who mirror God’s love.

The question for each of us is “Does our face reflect God’s radiance?” When others meet us at home, at work or at play do they see radiance or do they see a veil? When you look in the mirror each morning, do you see a veil or do you see God’s radiance?

Today, Christians celebrate the transfiguration and many will also share the bread and the cup in the sacrament of communion that reminds us of God’s . Following Jesus transforms our lives. Each morning, we must look at the mirror image and prepare to face a new day. Do we radiate God’s image or do we put on a veil?

Moses chose to wear a veil when he was not in the temple because his transfiguration resulted in such a brilliant image that it frightened others. Jesus did not wear a veil to cover the radiance evident to the disciples. The radiance no longer needed a veil; rather it needs a mirror.

Paul was blinded in order to get his attention. Yet, when he accepted Jesus as his savior, his life mirrored that radiance as he began his missionary work. Paul’s transfiguration drew others to Christ. Certainly he did not wear a veil; he mirrored God’s radiance.

In the second letter Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church, the process to be a mirror of God is provided:

4 Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,[a] we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

 

The way to be transfigured into a mirror of God begins with accepting the gift of his son Jesus Christ. It means acknowledging that Christ died for our sins, to simplify the Law of Moses into the New Law–love one another.

Sharing in the bread and the cup is much like looking into the mirror each morning. Each time we partake in the ritual, we are removing the veil from our faces. We commit ourselves to being the mirror image of God in all that we do.

Paul told the Corinthians:

16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Look in the mirror each morning and check to see if you are wearing a veil or whether you are mirroring God’s image radiating love to all you meet.

Take the bread, take the cup and lift the veil from your life. Let God’s love transfigure your life so that you are a mirror of God’s love. The process includes reading scripture, prayer, worship, and service. Over the next 40+ days of Lent, challenge yourself to read Scripture. Share what you learn, discuss it with others, and pray. The transformation will mirror God’s love to all you meet.

Closing prayer:

Dear Loving Father,

Without you, mornings are cloudy

And my image does not mirror your love.

With you, clouds are cleared

And your love radiates even from me.

Thank you for the gift of your son.

May we drop the veils from our lives

And mirror your radiance

So others may see the transfiguration

In their own lives. –Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

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