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14- Veiled GLory

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Story of Jesus from about veil and marriage

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Let’s Unveil our Veiled Faces
Exodus 34:29–35

January 24, 2010

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. 32 Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD. Meditations on the Message The light shining from the face of Moses meant the people were dealing with the __________ God. The glory of God is that He sent His Son to become ___________________________. The glory from the face of Moses, like the glory of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, also speaks to us about God’s _____________________ for us. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) His light shines through right now by our lives of ______________________ and _______________________.  In the traditional wedding service a woman steps forward in faith to join her life with a man. According to one of the traditions which has been passed down to us, she is wearing a veil that partially obscures her face. It’s only later in the service, after promises of fidelity have been exchanged and a declaration of marriage has been made, that this veil is lifted. For the first time as husband and wife, they see each other face to face. I’ve heard the comment after many a wedding, "didn’t the bride’s face just glow!" It’s true – the bride’s face does glow. This is, indeed, a bright moment in her life - one to be remembered. Speaking of glowing, our text tells of Moses as he descended from the mountaintop with the stone tablets, for the second time. As he came down from the very presence of God, the children of Israel commented, "see how his face glows!" Only, this was no romantic moment. No photographer jumped out from the pew to take his picture as he walked by. If there were tears, they were not of joy, but rather - fear. They were afraid of the afterglow of God’s presence, the glory of the Lord still visible on Moses’ face.

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1

Transfiguration

ILCW “C” 2009-2010

Let’s Unveil our Veiled Faces

January 24, 2010

That is why, from that moment onward, whenever Moses left the presence of God, whether coming down from the mountain or exiting the tabernacle, he wore a veil over his face. To be clear, we should say that this was no see-through material like that which only partially obscures a bride's face at a wedding. Think of the veil many Muslim women wear over their faces in public. In the case of Moses, however, it was not a matter of decency or secrecy. It was out of fear that they asked him to cover his face. The light shining from the face of Moses meant something. It spooked Aaron and the company of Israel because it was a visible, undeniable reminder that they were dealing with the true God! The ability to pretend that other deities like their golden calf, lwere "just like Yahweh," vanished. Yahweh sent the plagues. He made the Red Sea part for Israel. He made Manna appear to feed them every morning - except, of course, the Sabbath. He was the Maker of the pillar of fire by night and cloud by day, and was visibly present by means of it. And now His glory was radiating from the face of His prophet, Moses. There was no room for confusion. Unbelief could be done - and it was from time to time - but there was no room for confusion. This glow revealed that Moses spoke with the true God and that the Word Moses proclaimed was God's Word! Does that strike you as strange? I mean, why a veil to obscure evidence of the glory of God? After all, we live in a society that seems to "veil" very little. We don’t want secrets. We want open and transparent. The crazy thing is, for all our supposed openness, a great deal is hidden- "veiled." Are we really any more interested in taking off that veil? Not just off Moses’ face, but off our own. Don’t we hide how we truly are feeling under the veil of “I’m fine?” Don’t we hide our tears or our fears under the veils of a stiff upper lip, or a cheery smile? Don’t we often want God to veil the true application of his word from us because we know, deep down, that he isn’t going to like what we are doing? St. Paul also mentions the veil of Moses. He referred to it to describe the stubborn unbelief of Israel, and of all other unbelievers, who read the Word of God and do not find Jesus, the Son of God and Savior of mankind therein. But when they are brought to faith, Christ lifts the veil and they can see the glory of God. And what is the glory of God? This is the glory that Paul wrote about in Second Corinthians 4:6 - For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. The glory of God is that He sent His Son to become one of us, to live for us, and then die in our place - on a cross, no less, so that our sins might be forgiven, and we might be made heirs of everlasting life. Jesus accomplished all that He came to do. Your sins have been atoned for. You have been redeemed. Your sins are forgiven, and God pours out everlasting life upon all, that the one that believes might receive and possess and enjoy that life beyond sin and sickness, sorrow and death. The glory which shone from the face of Moses, like the glory of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, also speaks to us about the promise of God for us. As Jesus shone on the mountain top with divine glory, he has promised that we, you and me, will shine with his glory. In 2 Corinthians
2

Transfiguration

ILCW “C” 2009-2010

Let’s Unveil our Veiled Faces

January 24, 2010

3:18, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Marvelous! Wonderful! Thank God we can say, “God has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Thank God that He continues to shine in our hearts by the Gospel. Thank God He continues to shine through us to the sin darkened people around us. We have that glory now, but, like Moses we have it hidden behind a veil. God would have us to walk by faith, not by sight. It would be an interesting world if Christians glowed, while unbelievers did not - but surely the world would postulate some sort of scientific explanation to threaten that this "glowing" will damage our health or shorten our life-span, and people would run in fear from us. One Sunday as they drove home from church, a little girl turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, there’s something about the preacher’s message this morning that I don’t understand." The mother said, "Oh, really. What is it?" The Little girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. He said God is so big that He could hold the world in His hand. Is that true? The mother replied, "Yes, that’s true, honey." But Mommy, he also said that God comes to live inside of us when we believe in Jesus. Is that true, too?" Again, the mother assured the little girl that what the preacher had said was true. With a puzzled look on her face the little girl then asked, "If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?" It should and it does. The way God’s glory shows through right now is by lives of faithfulness and holiness - loving one another, and serving our neighbor for the sake of Christ - you know, "Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." And our visible glory - when we are finally transformed into the image of His glory - will come on that great day of resurrection and home-going. On that day, our Lord Jesus "will transform our lowly bodies to be like his glorious body, by the exertion of the power that He uses to subject all things to Himself." So, like Moses, let us remove the veil whenever we come before the Lord, when we enter into His presence in the Word, and in the fellowship of the body of Christ, and in the blessed Sacrament. Let us look at His glory in Jesus Christ - a glory that is veiled to unbelievers, and hypocrites. And when we leave this place, let us reflect that glory by lives transformed by the Word, shining with the glory of God's love and grace toward us. Isn’t this at the heart of what it means to share good news? It’s not just that we "have information" that would help others live their lives better. No, it’s a message that transforms us. It transfigures us. Our hearts and minds are unveiled. And it is something we just can’t hide. We long for others around us to see this glory also. Jesus spoke of us as being the light of the world, and encouraged us not to place this light under a basket (Matthew 5:14-16). A basket is like a veil. It obscures, it hides. No, we are the light of the world because through us the true God, the saving God shines His transforming and transfiguring power. Let’s throw off the veils that hide his glory. Let’s throw off the veils of arguing, and dissension, strife and jealousy. Let’s take off the veils that hide the love and grace that God has shone into our heats.

3

Transfiguration

ILCW “C” 2009-2010

Let’s Unveil our Veiled Faces

January 24, 2010

Doesn't that remind us of Jesus, on the move from that mountain, headed to another one, where he would show us once again what God's love looks like, but this time, without light, and without glory? As we end our Epiphany experience and prepare to embark on our Lenten journey, let’s read and hear this text as a call to take what we have experienced out into the world.

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Transfiguration

ILCW “C” 2009-2010

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