In the Office: “His Face Was Radiant”

In today’s Old Testament reading (Exodus 34:18-35), Moses is nearing the end of a visit to the top of Mount Sinai, where God is giving him the words of the covenant. And when Moses comes down the mountain to return to the people, we’re told:


That speaks to me this morning. Granted, what the scriptures are describing here is almost undoubtedly a supernatural phenomenon occasioned by direct and personal contact with God’s presence. And yet, by extension, might we not hypothesize (or at least hope) that there would be a certain “radiance” to our faces as a result of the time we’ve spent with the Lord? We may not climb sacred mountains and chisel God’s words in tablets of stone. But doesn’t the very fact that you’re reading this suggest that we’re attempting to enter some kind of sacred space in which God’s Word is allowed to permeate our hearts and change our lives? And wouldn’t it be wonderful if the “radiance” of that encounter could “shine before others” for the rest of the day in the look of our face, the tone of our voice, and the holiness of our lives?

Of course, we all too easily allow one thing or another to “veil” the radiance. We get too busy, or too anxious, or too distracted by lesser gods to allow the lingering light of the LORD’s presence to illuminate our interactions with others. But it need not be this way. If we’re willing, God’s promise to us is that we, “who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

May it be said of us today that our faces are radiant. And may we become light as we follow the One who is the Light.

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