Today’s Lent Project devotional is by Candi Shelton. She and her husband, Jonathan, are members of our Leadership Team and host the Alpharetta North Table Group.
If ever there was a piece of scripture to cause celebration, like SEC-football-type celebration, it’s 2 Corinthians 3:7-18. If ever there were cause for this weary, sometimes completely uninspired mother of two to rejoice and dance, it’s what is contained in these passages. If ever there was reason to sing for the poor in spirit, the bruised, the overlooked, the broken, the ones just looking for a reason to notice the sunshine, it’s this:
“And we all, 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, NIV
The Old Testament tells of God’s law revealed to Moses on the mountaintop, a law engraved in stone and carried down to the lowly by a man who encountered the very presence of God, so much so that he was radiant with glory… and the Israelites were scared. There was lots of veiling going on back then, lots of “don’t look straight at it!” and that’s understandable because God is, well, perfect and too glorious for sin-stained creation to dirty up. So there was the ark of the covenant, and the holy of holies. There were the high priests and sacrifices of blood. There was fear. And thank God for a way to connect with perfection, fearful as we were, sinful as we are.
But, oh the New Testament! The Son born into the mess, the holy encased in connective tissue and bone and muscle and skin. He became the cleanup crew and set off a wave of restoration that we are still crashing into, every breath of every minute of every day. He ripped the veil from the top down and called all of creation to stop averting our eyes. He says “Look at me! SEE me! Know me! Experience me! Then go BE me to your neighbors!”
I feel this call as I sit indian style on the carpet this morning with my keyboard and coffee. I feel the call to quit averting my eyes, to look at him full-on, fully known in the presence of the Fully-Knowing. I feel the call to pull off the veil and to pick up the glory. That’s what the Lenten season is all about when you get right down to it. It’s about remembering the veil long enough to rejoice in its destruction, and it’s about picking up the glory that an image-bearer experiences, the glory of Jesus, the glory of redemption, relationship, transformation, and restoration.
We have a reason to rejoice, right where we are. The broken can sing because the Spirit is mending in plain sight. The forgotten can smile because there is no veil to hide them from His face. The uninspired can look full on into Inspiration, full-strength.
Today, let us practice pulling off the veil and putting on His glory.