Unveiled Faces

These days, when I walk outside and see people in their various masks, 2 Corinthians 3:18 often comes to mind: “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate [or reflect] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” How I long for the days when we will be able to walk in public with unveiled faces again! Paul, though, is making a reference to an amazing story recorded in the Old Testament. When Moses came down from his meeting with God on Mount Sinai, he wasn’t aware that his face was radiant from being in God’s presence. In fact, his face was so bright that the people were afraid to come near him. Moses adopted the custom of putting a veil over his face when he was around people, only taking it off when he was alone in the Lord’s presence (Exodus 34:29-35). Did you know that, when you spend time with God, you begin to radiate with His glory? Like Moses, we might not always be aware of it, but, to the people around us, it should be obvious. The more time we spend with God, the more His nature flows in us, through us and out from us. (Paul describes God’s nature as the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.) In a dark world, where selfishness, turmoil and pessimism are the norm, people are awed by the glorious light of peace, hope and sacrificial love. Unfortunately, many Christians, like Moses, cover up God’s glory when they venture out into the world. Perhaps they don’t want to offend or they’re afraid that they can’t answer every argument. So, they remain silent in discussions about morality or the truth of the gospel. In the presence of those who are desperately stumbling around in darkness, they hide their light under a bushel. “Let your light shine before others,” Jesus commands, “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We are called to reflect God’s glory in the world, and so bring glory back to Him. Oh, that we might walk around in this needy world with unveiled faces!

Otis A. Fortenberry

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