‘Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.’ 2 Corinthians 3:15-18
We heard these words read at Holy Communion this morning. A little later, the sun itself was eclipsed by the moon passing between us.
Whenever Moses spent time in God’s presence, his face shone, both reflecting and sharing in the weight of God’s luminous glory; and when he then walked among his neighbours, he covered his face, because they could not bear the weight of it.
I imagine that over the past year-and-a-half, many of us have become accustomed to veiling our faces behind a mask. And a great deal of weight has been laid upon Monday 21 June as our ‘Freedom Day.’ In recent days there has been a stirring-up of wrath, that the UK Government is preparing a ‘new narrative, “data, not dates”,’ to justify delaying Freedom Day by a couple more weeks. But the narrative has always been ‘data, not dates’: that the remaining restrictions would be lifted no earlier than 21 June, not necessarily on 21 June. Whatever takes place, 21 June is not my Freedom Day; every day is freedom day, for, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Masked or casting masks aside, we are invited to see the glory of God reflected in the face of all creation—including the majestic sun, veiled, momentarily, by the moon that reflects its light in so mesmerising and winsome a manner—but nowhere more-so than in the faces of human beings. For those with eyes to see, that glory, partly hidden and to some degree distorted—as is the way, with light—is nonetheless visible, in you, and me, in the face of everyone we meet. For all are made in the likeness of God, and the Spirit of God is being poured out on all flesh, inclusive of age and gender and ethnicity.
So, shine. And worry not if your face is covered, whether by a mask out of love for your neighbours, or a dark cloud passing overhead. I see you. And you are glorious.