top of page

February 11, 2024

God’s Glory Reflected In Us

Pastor KJ Kim

Exodus 34: 29-35

In the passage, Moses saw God’s back. When he came down the mountain, the skin of his face was shining, and people were afraid of him. Whenever Moses went back to speaking with God
and came back to tell the people what God had said, Moses removed the veil so everyone could see his shining face. People might not be able to see God directly, but they could see God’s glory reflected in Moses. God had given them someone they could look at and listen to, someone who walked around in his own personal spotlight.

The same thing happened to Jesus a thousand years later, the episode that we can read it in the book of Mark, chapter 9. Jesus’s mountain was in Israel, not Egypt, but it was clearly the same glory that enveloped him. I often wonder if things might have gone better for Jesus if his glory had lasted longer, as Moses did. Jesus never had to wear a veil. We assume that by the time Jesus came down from the mountain, his face was not shining as Moses did but was back to normal. No one was particularly afraid of him, at least not in the right way. They were afraid of him in the wrong way—afraid enough to kill him.

The disciples wanted to capture the moment with memorials on the mountain, but Jesus’s focus continued to be on their commitment to following him through the forthcoming journey to the cross. Believe it or not, Jesus’s appearance on the mountain should be equally the same as the empty tomb on the first Easter morning, which seems very low-key for most of us.

Throughout our faith journey, we might have the mountain-top experiences of the transfiguration with God and listen to God’s voice—the moments and times and seasons we wish we could grasp, sustain, and live within forever, just like Peter asked Jesus, “O Lord, it is so good we are here on this mountain-tip. Let us make a beautiful shrine to celebrate this moment.” However, we may more often experience standing inside an empty tomb--seeking God’s presence so hard, sacrificing, and struggling.

Perhaps we never see God’s back in the same way Moses saw it, and perhaps we never have a holy encounter like the three disciples had on the mountaintop. We are called to live in a world where God’s glory is still possible, where light may break through at any moment. We believe in what we can see, but we are called to believe in more than that, including what we cannot see.

We are believers who know and believe that the world is made out of light, that God’s glory is pulsing just beneath the surface of things, with the power to transfigure the darkest of our days
and the dark side of ourselves. We never know when our faces may begin to shine or when our neighbor's face may begin to shine.

By the power of our belief, we choose what kind of world we continue to live in—a world where glory is possible and God’s light may break through any moment and anywhere.

Thanks be to God.

bottom of page