Next week (February 7) is Transfiguration, the Sunday when today's reading from Exodus is usually read. On that Sunday, we witness a story in the gospels where Jesus meets Moses and Elijah on a mountain top. The disciples watch as Jesus talks to these two prophets, with everyone lit up like the sun. Jesus is transformed. His typical wardrobe is replaced by a brilliant white robe. The disciples see Jesus as Jesus truly is: God's light in the world. This light Jesus shines is the same light that Moses experienced during his 40 years in the wilderness. Nothing we make or touch can truly radiate the true divine light that God gives. God's light is more than just a fancy firework show. God's light gives life to whatever it touches, causing God's servants to radiate that light as well. Moses, when he comes down the mountain after being on Mt. Sinai for 40 days, can't help but reflect what God has given him.
Last Sunday, as I dug out from the snowstorm, I noticed that the bright sunshine was giving me a tan. The brilliant sun was reflecting off the two feet of snow, right onto my face. The light was overpowering and I wish I had shades. Even in the depth of winter, after a snowstorm so huge we canceled church worship services and towns up and down the east coast canceled school for days at a time, the brilliant light still shined. That light left its mark on me while I tried to dig out of my driveway. And it lingers because my face looks like I went to the beach.
This brilliant light is the God we want. We want a God that shines. We want a God who lingers and who gives us a piece of this divine light to share with others. Even when we're bogged down in the storms of our lives, we have this God who still shines. But this God doesn't only shine. This God isn't only restricted to the mountain tops. This God is a God who is heading to the Cross - a story we'll experience once Lent starts on February 10.
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