“When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant and they were afraid to come near him. When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face.” Exodus 34:30, 33
“Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.” Acts 17:22
Moses would go be in the presence of God, and he would come out with his face radiant from being with God. His friends first reaction was to run from him. Do we ever have this affect on people we meet after spending time with God? I think that we do. As we in Young Life share our faith with adolescents, we have to use wisdom as we approach teens with friendship. This is hard work winning the right to be heard. Just as Moses had to put on a veil, followers of Christ have to put on a bit of a veil to allow people to come close to us. There is no better veil than love and acceptance. People run from judgment and the critical spirit. Paul had to dumb down his intelligence and passion a wee bit in Athens as he spoke to the leaders while waiting for his friends to show up. He was all alone, but got busy with the King’s work. He compliments them on worshiping idols! That made headlines in the Jerusalem tabloids. Paul points them to Jesus eventually, but only after he had won a hearing. Jesus is really all that we have to offer, but getting into a position where the message is hearable takes some veiling of our passions and our natural criticalness of people’s frivolous lifestyles.
Jesus is our example. Do you see how the incarnation was the perfect veiling? If Jesus had come down in His full glory, it would have been ugly. You can’t learn that much when you drop dead in His presence. But God made himself approachable. Jesus slowed himself down for 33 years to be safe. CS Lewis says that God is not safe, but he is good. For a short span, God was both safe and good in the person of Jesus.
How have you learned to veil the radiance in order to eventually share his message?