What’s keeping you from having a bold, vibrant faith? Our readings provide one answer.
God deserves our praise and worship. Why be in church week after week if we didn’t believe this?
We do this not because God demands it. Our God is not some glory hound.
We worship God because of the great things he has done.
Look to Psalm 99. The God we see here wants the best for us. He thrives to bring justice and righteousness among his people. He responds to our prayers. When we stray, he corrects us. He forgives us of our shortcomings.
Through our God, we have nothing to fear. We have such a hope, as 2 Corinthians proclaims, that we can act with great boldness. And yet many of us treat our faith as if it were a great, big secret.
To support my point, try out this little experiment. Ask someone you don’t know about today’s Super Bowl game or the presidential race. And you’ll likely get a strong, unbridled opinion. But ask them about their faith in God, you’ll likely sense some hesitation.
Many of us behave like the Israelites did in our reading from Exodus. When Moses came down Mount Sinai, he carried the Ten Commandments under each arm. And as he spoke about God’s covenant with them, the Israelites were afraid of him.
Why? Because the skin of Moses’ face was shining after being in the presence of God. The Moses that came down that mountain transfigured. That is, he was deeply transformed into a more spiritual being.
And this light made people very uncomfortable about themselves. That discomfort one might feel when someone now knows your dirty little secrets. Or when someone confronts you, telling you that you’re not as good as you think you are. And they are right.
That discomfort the Israelites didn’t come from Moses. It came from God’s light revealing how far they had fallen short from the righteousness of God. Their minds, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians, became hardened.
This is how many people feel when asked about their faith in God—even the faithful. But it doesn’t have to be the case.
There is no reason to keep the metaphorical veil that shields us from the glory of God. There is no reason to be shy about about our faith. Why? Because Christ himself pulls that veil away. Even if we feel unworthy or undeserving, Christ offers this gift to you freely.
All you need to do is to accept it. Not just in your mind, but in your body and spirit as well:
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.
Through Christ, there is no need to lose heart, no need to be ashamed of our past mistakes, no need to deny God’s glory.
Through Christ, you too are transformed.