I have no idea how old I was or what grade I was in, but I remember from childhood preparing to see a solar eclipse. I remember the art teacher showing us how to make a box in which we could successfully view the sun without our eyes burning and I remember being in awe when I watched this marvelous and spectacular event. I do hope that you have all been able to witness this.
The amazing thing about the Sun is that we cannot look directly into its beams yet its light provides for us in so many ways: it is the Sun that creates the day, we get vitamins from its rays, it warms and the list could go on and on.
When I was a kid, I had to prepare myself to be able to look into the Sun and I couldn't help but think about that as we heard from the Exodus passage (Exodus 34: 29-35). No one could stand the glow from Moses and yet Moses stood in the presence of God whose light was several times as strong. Moses was able to "handle" the light but the rest of the people needed Moses to veil the glow in order to be able to see him.
In many ancient cultures, the Sun was associated with the Gods - often the mightiest - and the idea behind the glowing "halo" we see on paintings of God's and other Holy People always seem like a Sun behind their heads.
So what does that mean for us? It means that in order for us to have a full relationship with the Holy - one in which like Moses we can glean and absorb all that the Lord is offering we need to come prepared. We don't just come to God unprepared or without caring but instead with prayerful and open hearts. We study and read the Word, in order to better understand God's will. We seek guidance from Spiritual leaders. We do all of this in order to be able to stand before God and receive the brilliance of God's light without going blind or getting overwhelmed.
This year we are talking about how important education is to having a full relationship with the Mighty. And I would say that in order for us to be able to let our Spirits shine we must be able to let nothing get in our way of having a full relationship with the Divine. Let us spend some time thinking about how we can open ourselves, prepare ourselves and let our Spirit's shine without a veil for all to come to know Christ!