Today's Reading: Exodus 34:29-35
So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. (Exodus 34:30)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The glory of God is so scary that even a reflection of it on Moses' face scares everyone. Moses had to wear a veil to hide that glow. The thing about God in His raw, uncovered glory is that it is too much for sinners to see and live. It's frightening, and so He hides it, in the flesh. The Son of God in the flesh isn't scary. A baby? A wandering preacher? A beaten up and bloody guy on a cross?
The Lord hides His glory to protect you, so you won't be vaporized by His glory but saved from your sins. The reason the Israelites could endure the glory that Moses reflected was that he wore the veil. The reason Jesus' disciples could endure His brilliant Transfiguration was because it was Jesus, in His flesh. The flesh of Jesus protects us from being wiped out by His glory.
As much as people say they would like to see God in His glory, and then they'd believe. They really wouldn't. They would be terrified. That's why the Lord hides Himself in the flesh. It's why He hides Himself now in His Word and Sacraments. Water? Bread and wine? A book? Is that where God is? Yes! And for you, for the forgiveness of your sins.
But God doesn't just hide His glory. He also reveals it. In the face of Christ, we see that He is God Himself who has come down to us to be our Savior. The glory of God will never destroy you, now that it has taken on flesh. The glory of God is to rescue you from sin and death, and in Jesus, that glory is yours now, too. You will share in that glory in the life that is to come. The glory of God shines through Jesus Christ so that it may come to you as your salvation. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
With shining face and bright array Christ deigns to manifest today What glory shall be theirs above Who joy in God with perfect love. (O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair, LSB 413:3)