Moses 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. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them. Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face; but 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, the 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.
The New Testament
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.
Therefore, since it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God's word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.
Luke 9:28-36, [37-43a]
About eight days after Peter had acknowledged Jesus as the Christ of God, Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"--not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
Listen to Him
All three of our readings are tied together. Moses talked to God and from that day forward his face shown so that he needed to put a veil over it. Jesus goes onto a mountain as well and the disciples witness that he becomes dazzling white. Paul refers to all of this in Second Corinthians. He writes that the veil of Moses should be set aside and we should look upon the Spirit of the Lord.
In Luke we read about the transfiguration. What impacts me the most in this reading is when the cloud overshadows them and a voice says, “This is my Son, listen to him.” That brothers and sisters is something that all of us tend to forget to do. I am talking about listening. I might have scripted it a little differently for God with this possible statement. “This is my son. Stop ignoring him.” Sometimes we get so involved with our busy days that we do not take the time to just put things aside and listen.
We are fast approaching the lenten season. Lent is a time for reflection. It is a time when we look at our lives and examine what we are doing and where we are going. I really do love lent and I look forward to the part where we make some small sacrifice in the way we are managing our lives. During Lent I have that extra incentive to give up something that will maybe make me a better person.
I went to the doctor this week for my semi-annual check up. He recommended that I give up five pounds. I will put that on my list of things to do. I think we also need to think not in terms of what we will stop doing but things we will start doing. Maybe listening better to Jesus's message of love for God and love for each other is one of them. Reflect on that this week and if you can make it to our Ash Wednesday service maybe we can share our thoughts on how to draw extra meaning out of this Lenten Season.