“But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.”
In today’s scripture, Paul is writing to the Corinthians about Moses’ encounter with God. Remember, when Moses went up to the mountain and came back down, his face was glowing because he had seen the glory of God. During the time of the Old Testament, many believed that God’s glory was so striking and incredible that they had to cover their faces when they saw it to prevent themselves from dying. Their awe and reverence for God was incredible!
Fast forward a few thousand years to the wandering Jewish rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth. He was the “visible image of the invisible God.” No one needed to be veiled or cover their eyes when they approached Jesus. They were able to see the fullness of God when looking at Christ. We are able to see the fullness of God when we look at Christ. Our eyes have been uncovered, which is a great thing. But, sometimes we forget that when we see Jesus, when we encounter Jesus, we are encountering the God of the universe.
In Jesus, we are being called to uncover our faces. We are being called to face God with all that we truly are, without the masks or covers that hide who we truly are. Many Christians have spent years and years hearing what God wants in a person. God seeks goodness, love, kindness, compassion, justice. The list could go on and on. When we realize that we have parts of us that are not good, not loving, not kind inside of us, it becomes tempting to hide that from God. It becomes tempting to present God with a covered image of our true self. It becomes tempting to put on a mask when we approach God. If we struggle to approach God with authenticity, we will certainly struggle to approach others with authenticity.
During Lent, we have been getting in touch with the things that have crept into our spiritual lives that we need to repent of in order to refocus on our relationships with God. Inauthenticity is one of those things that can be detrimental to our relationships with God. We are called to uncover our faces, take our masks off, and be real with God. When we uncover ourselves to God, it becomes easier to accept ourselves and present our real selves to others as well. Consider how inauthenticity has crept into your life. What masks do you need to take off to uncover your true self? Who are you underneath it all? How can you be real with God?
You, O God, know us better than we know ourselves. Yet, we often hide ourselves even from you. We confess that we seek to be real with you. We seek to uncover our faces, but sometimes it is hard because we have been so inauthentic for so long. Guide us. Uncover our faces so we can truly see you and so you can truly see us. Amen.