Wednesday, July 31, 2013


The Book of Exodus tells us that having encountered God face to face left Moses's face so radiant that it frightened the people and so he would wear a veil which he only removed when meeting with God.

Here we reach the great separation of Old and New Covenant. To the people of the Old Testament the very thought of being in the presence of God was a fearsome thing. There was the realm of the divine and the realm of the human. Even after death one did not pass into the realm of the divine. The privilege granted to Moses of seeing God face to face was something rare.

Each Sunday when we recite the creed we all bow when we get to the words of the incarnation, whether in the words of the Apostles' Creed or the Nicean Creed. So important is the moment when divinity and humanity came together in the incarnation of Jesus.

The image of the veil reaches its climax in Matthew's Gospel when at the moment Jesus dies St. Matthew tells us

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.

By his death and ressurection Jesus tears down the wall of separation. God is no longer to be worshiped from a distance with fear and trembling. God is now to be worshiped with love. God has brought to fulfillment the reason for our creation, unity.

Each Sunday as we make that tiny gesture of bowing during the creed it is a moment for us to fall ever more deeply into our understanding of the enormity of the gift we have received, union with the divine.