In this reading, Moses is coming down from Mount Sinai for the second time after having destroyed the first set of tablets in the golden calf incident. Here is yet another chance for Israel to uphold its end of the covenant with God. As the people greet Moses, they notice his shining face which, we’re told, makes them afraid to come near him.
Each time Moses speaks to God and each time he speaks to the people on behalf of God, he removes the veil that he wears when he’s going about his everyday life. One way of thinking about this is that it is in these times that Moses reveals his truest, most authentic self. There are no pretenses and nothing to hide behind. And when he removes his veil, his skin glows.
Can you think of times when you “wear a veil”? When are you afraid to let people see the real you? What fear lies behind that? Do you have the same fear around God seeing the real you? In what ways could interacting honestly, openly, and authentically with God and with others lead to an afterglow of peace, contentment, and goodwill? Do you think seeing a person’s willingness to be vulnerable in that way invites others to do the same or is it off-putting as it was for the Israelites? Why do you think this is?
Today in prayer, reveal something about yourself to God that you otherwise either actively try to hide or just avoid addressing. Find courage in the promise of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.