1st Scripture Reading: Exodus 34:29-35 & Psalm 99
“The Shining Face of Moses”. Talking to God changes Moses in ways that are perceptible to his people. Talking to God is a transforming experience – a life-altering experience!
When Moses returns from the mountain with the stone tablets on which are written God’s Laws for humanity, his whole life has been changed and so have the lives of all people.
And it’s all about light – about radiance. It’s about opening our minds and hearts to God’s way – God’s way of justice and truth and integrity. It’s about removing the veil – the veil of ignorance, of unconsciousness, and of willful blindness to God’s ways – to God’s will for us.
The psalmist tells us: “Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity: you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.” This morning we are getting a lesson in who God is – what is important to God – and what God expects of us.
Those of us who are interested in politics are seeing this conflict – between God’s ways and the ways of power and politics – played out before our eyes in shocking detail. The veil of ignorance as to how the game of politics is played in Canada is being rather unceremoniously ripped from our eyes. But we have choice – we always have choice – to cover our faces with our hands, put the veil of ignorance back in place, or to challenge the apparent fabrications of this government and its political motivations.
Make no mistake. Speaking truth to power is a dangerous strategy. There have been consequences, there are always consequences, and there may well be more. But this time those consequences may fall on the powerful – we shall see. A light is being shone into the darkness, and eventually, I believe, the darkness will be overcome and transformed by it.
Hymn #242 VU “Let all things now living”
2nd Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:12- 4:2 & Luke 9:28-36
In Paul’s second letter to the early Christians at Corinth, we hear him saying that because we have such hope in the way of Jesus - that we have the courage to act with boldness. When we are convinced that we are right, because we are aligned with God’s will and God’s righteousness, then we are driven to act out of that certainty – we call it having integrity – when our core values are strong and we cannot be swayed from them.
But for many of us this truth is not so evident. The veil still covers some eyes in the face of “an inconvenient truth”, or a competing agenda. When Jesus was brought before Pilate, one of the most powerful men in Israel at that time, he told Pilate: “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” And Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”
So the question for many, and being played out before our eyes, is this: is the truth negotiable? Can something have validity if it is based on lies or half-truths? Is it OK to shoot the messenger if the truth is inconvenient?
Jesus said himself that he came to testify to the truth. He wants us to know that the truth is important. He died as a messenger of that truth.
The light of the world has shone into our darkness, torn off the veils of ignorance and wilful disobedience, and opened our eyes to what is true. If we accept that, if we have had that conversation with God or with Jesus, then, like Moses, and like Jesus, we have been changed. We are no longer ignorant slaves to any human hierarchical system. We are the masters of our own ships – we cannot ignore the proddings of our own conscience. Like Jody Wilson-Raybould we must speak our truth. We must refuse to be intimidated or bought off.
The clear light of day, the healing waters of higher awareness were a major part of Jesus’ ministry as a servant of God in the world. His ministry was of teaching and healing, of being an example of how to live in the world as a child of God. His love and his presence continue to shine into the lives of those who have opened themselves to him. He will transform us from glory into glory as we align ourselves with his teaching. There is hope brothers and sisters in Christ – let us act boldly from the truth of our faith.
Hymn #144 MV “Like a healing stream”