Daily Devotion 02 December 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Exodus 33: 18,20-23 ‘The Lord’s Face is Hidden from Moses’

18 Moses said, “Show me your glory, I pray.”  … 20 And the Lord said, …“you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.” 21 And the Lord continued, “See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; 23 then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”

John 14: 7-9 ‘Jesus Showing the Father’

7 Jesus said, “If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 

There’s a story of someone arriving at a guest house in Ireland for a short visit. He was greeted warmly by the landlady, who promptly sat him down and gave him a cup of tea and a teacake. She then asked In her lovely Irish brogue, “Do you have a good memory for faces?” Thinking this a rather odd question, he thought for a moment, then replied, “Reasonable, I think.”. “Thank the good Lord for that,” she said, “because the shaving mirror’s broken”.

We’re realizing how important seeing faces is, now we have to wear masks so much. How very difficult it can be to communicate properly, even to recognize a friend, when you can only see half a face – it’s hard to tell whether someone’s smiling at you or not. Yet the Old Testament tells us that from the Fall onwards no one was allowed to see God’s face. In the first Bible passage above the Lord said to Moses, “You cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live”. God sent his angels as messengers, and those blessed with such visitations were able to see the angels. But God’s face remained hidden. The world had to wait for the coming of his Son for his face to be revealed to us.

In his prophecies Isaiah foresaw the coming of one who would show God’s glory, and in the prologue to John’s gospel is the beautiful statement, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth”. (John 1:14) In the gospel words above, Jesus himself says, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

This Advent, as we await again the incarnation of our Lord, we remember that God made each one of us in his image and it is through Jesus that we are shown how we should try to live that divine life in human terms. We give great thanks for God’s willingness to come to earth in human form, to reveal himself to us, and to suffer and die for us.

Prayer:

Grant, O God, that as we rejoice in the hope of the coming of our Saviour,
we may seek to prepare the way of his coming by advancing his kingdom in the world and caring for the needs of others.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Ann Caffyn.
Image freely available online.

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