Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Thursday prior to Transfiguration


2 Corinthians 3:12–13; 4:1–6—When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, from speaking with the Lord, the children of Israel were afraid to look upon him, because his face shone from being in the presence of God. They made Moses wear a veil over his face. (Exodus 34:29-35) As this veil concealed from the Israelites the transient character of the old covenant and its orders, so now when the Law (Moses) is read they cannot see the real significance of the Law as witness, together with the prophets, to the newly revealed righteousness of God in the Gospel. But, when we are brought to faith in Christ, the veil is removed, and we recognize that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law.

To this day many women in Arab countries wear a veil. It prevents the women from seeing clearly and others cannot plainly see who is behind the veil. In this passage Paul speaks of a spiritual veil. When he came out of his meeting tent, Moses wore a veil because the radiance of his face was too bright for his people. Paul claims that people who know only Moses and the old covenant have a veil that hides the face of God in Jesus. Christ removes the veil and thus Christians have freedom from the veil of Moses. With the veil removed, Christians can directly see the face of God in Jesus, and likewise the radiance of Christ can be seen on the unveiled faces of Christians. There is an openness, frankness, and honesty to the Christian faith.[1]  

For peace in the world: Heavenly Father, God of all concord, it is Your gracious will that Your children on earth live together in harmony and peace. Defeat the plans of all those who would stir up violence and strife, destroy the weapons of those who delight in war and bloodshed, and, according to Your will, end all conflicts in the world. Teach us to examine our hearts that we may recognize our own inclination toward envy, malice, hatred, and enmity. Help us, by Your Word and Spirit, to search our hearts and to root out the evil that would lead to strife and discord, so that in our lives we may be at peace with all people. Fill us with zeal for the work of Your Church and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone can bring that peace which is beyond all understanding; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.[2]

[1] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima OH

[2] Collect for Peace in this World, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Illustration from the woodcut “The Transfiguration” by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872 copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use.

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