In the first few sermons of the year, I tried to prepare us for the process of evaluating where we are, dreaming about where we want to go, and determining how we’re going to get there – in a word, change. I know that change can be irritating, if not outright frightening, but it’s a fact of life and growth that things will change.
In fact, that’s the whole point of the church. It is meant to change because we are meant to change. In 2 Corinthians 3:7-18, Paul wrote that when Moses received God’s Law on Mt. Sinai, his face radiated the glory of God, so much so that the people could not look at his face; he was changed by God’s presence and by his ministry of God’s covenant with his people. Paul also wrote that the new covenant through Jesus is “more glorious” than what Moses received and that it changes us: “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever- increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Because of our exposure to life in Jesus, we are changed to reflect God’s glory. Moses’ ministry was to share the Law, which brought death (v. 7), but our ministry brings righteousness (v. 9) and freedom (v. 17). Moses’ face was changed to reflect the glory of God’s righteous judgment, and the people couldn’t bear to see it. But Paul says that not only do we reflect God’s glory because of Jesus but we are being changed to be more like him, and we reflect that glory with “unveiled faces” (v. 18).
That change comes “whenever anyone turns to the Lord.” Ultimately, that’s our goal, to be transformed to be more and more like Jesus, with “ever-increasing glory.” The words “ever increasing” mean that we are not ever going to stop changing; we’re going to experience transformation by God throughout our lives. And that transformation is going to reflect God to all who see us.
So what kind of changes are we going to make? Ones that will reflect God more and more in whatever we say and do. We’re not interested in gimmicks to draw people into the building; we’re going to do whatever it takes to reflect God’s glory in our community and draw people to him. Be ready to change because God’s ready to take away the veil.