Collect and Readings for The Sunday next before Lent – Exodus 34:29-end, Psalm 99, 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2, Luke 9:28-43a, The Prayer for today Almighty Father, whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Those who are not committed Christians will often express disappointment at the selfish or immoral behaviour of churchgoing Christians. They obviously expect that our faith should make a big difference to the way we look, think, and behave. I find this quite encouraging. Obviously, it needs to be recognised that the Church is a 'school for sinners' and for those who know their need of God, rather than for the perfect. But it also suggests that those who make such remarks hang on to a belief in God's transforming power. And they are right to because God can and does transform his close followers.
Moses, communing as a friend with God, comes away from his meetings with his face radiant and wears a veil to cover it. The veil prevents the people from seeing the glory of God which terrifies them, and Paul sees this as a foreshadowing of the way people cannot or will not discern the glory of God revealed in Jesus. When we recognise Jesus, it is as if the veil is lifted, and as we draw closer to God in this new relationship, the spirit can begin to transform us until our lives begin to shine.
So why don't they? Sometimes they do and we don't notice. It is quite likely that if you told someone you had seen God's love in the way they behaved they would be surprised. It may be that people have seen his radiance in you on occasions. You cannot spend your time regularly in God's company and work at living his way without it changing you and making you beautiful. But we also have to recognise that half measures are not good enough, Jesus always presents us with this challenge: 'Who do you say that I am?' What we reply has a lot to do with recognising the glory shown in the Transfiguration, and that will affect how we decide to spend our time and money choices.
God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev'd Fiona Robinson