In the name of Jesus. Amen. Today, we hear about Face-Shining Epiphanies! Moses spoke to God on Mount Sinai. Afterwards, his face showed forth the glory of God. This was not just a figurative “glow.” No, Moses spoke to God and afterward His face shone with God’s glory.
It isn’t exactly “normal” for a person’s face to glow. It’s a bit strange and scary. It was scary enough for the children of Israel to have God on the mountain. That’s enough of an epiphany! But when God’s glory shone on the face of Moses that was just too much for them to handle!
So, for them, Moses covered His face with a veil when he would go around the camp. It’s a bit comical, picturing Moses walking around the camp with his face covered with a veil. But, that’s just what he did!
It’s not very funny when you think about it, is it? That is what we do when we are confronted with the glory of God–we cover it up. We hide from it. We run from it. Why? There is simply no way for us sinners to come face to face with God’s glory on our own and not be destroyed – whether it’s on a mountain or on the face of the prophet Moses.
But there is one way to face God’s glory, in the flesh of Christ! The One whose face shined at the Transfiguration has taken our flesh on Himself to save us from our sins. His glory, the glory of the Only-Begotten Son of God, is found not in His shining face, but in His suffering and death on the Cross for you and me.
God’s glory for you is found in His gifts. In them is God Whom we can receive and behold and not be destroyed – in the flesh and blood of Jesus given for us to eat and drink for the remission of our sins!
Then, having feasted on His forgiveness in the Sacrament, we hear of another face-shining epiphany in the Benediction. Just as God blessed the children of Israel in the wilderness, He blesses us, “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
Now that’s a Face-Shining-Epiphany that doesn’t have to be covered up – the smiling face of God forgiving our sins! In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Lectionary: Job 3:11-26; St. John 1:35-51
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