February 21

Exodus 34:29-35

“When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him.” vs. 30

The Aaronic benediction is dear to the hearts of believers. Those who worship hear it at the close of the service as a blessing from their pastor. The words are familiar and come to us from thousands of years ago. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” We may not know what the phrases mean, but there is no doubt that we love to hear them–and pastors love to say them. It jist feels good to hear that the face of God is shining on us, that God is pleased with us. Presumably that’s what Moses experienced on Mt. Sinai–he saw the shining face of God and he was transformed, so much so that his own face was shining when he rejoined the people. We don’t know exactly what this means, but it continues to happen. People have such profound experiences of God that they are changed, and it can be seen in their shining faces, and in this way the Divine Presence continues to be felt in the world. And we actually see God most clearly in the shining faces of believers. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does it’s unmistakable, and we are blessed!

Thought for the Day: In whom have I seen the shining face of God?

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