Old Testament Reading: Exodus 34:29-35
29Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. 31But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them. 32Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face; 34but whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would take the veil off, until he came out; and when he came out, and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35the Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of his face was shining; and Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
There are times in my life when I have seen the face of someone beaming. Beaming with joy. Beaming with good news. Beaming with love. I have seen it on a groom as he watches his bride enter the church and process to the altar where they will make their vows. I have seen in on the face of a child as when brought to the font for baptism, gazing lovingly at Mom and Dad who beam right back. I have seen it in the face a grandmother holding her newborn grandchild for the first time.
I imagine there are times when you have seen people beaming. Yes?
Most recently, I saw the faces of two who were asked to play the role of Mary in our All Congregation Christmas Pageant in December. At 9 am, the young girl came to church ready to play her part. From the moment she put on her costume, her radiance was captivating. This 3rd grade girl took the part to heart, and God’s light shown through her.
At 11 am, the woman, a few-decades-older-than-the-early-service Mother of Our Lord also beamed. She looked lovingly from the manger, to Joseph, to the congregation. Her expression of joy and love spoke to us all that she had just been given the greatest gift ever. The scripture that comes to mind is the end of the Luke 2 Christmas story – “Mary treasured up all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
God’s light shines through all of these. We love because God first loved us. We are not the light, but we reflect the light. Beaming light.
After standing in the presence of God, Moses comes down the mountain. He is beaming! So much so that a veil covers his face when speaking to them.
I believe we sometimes put a veil on when it comes to reflecting the Light of God, the love of God, the good news of great joy. Maybe we are afraid of what others might think of us or say. Maybe we fear others will be offended by the light.
Let me offer this word – remember its not your light to begin with! You and I are not the light. Moses isn’t the light. Mary the younger or Mary the older are not the light. It is God’s light that shines.
Hide it under a bushel. NO! Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Let us pray: Almighty God, I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus. Let your light shine. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.