In this section of Second Corinthians, Paul emphasizes the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. Prior to this passage he has drawn a contrast between the law of God being written on the stone tablets given to Moses (old covenant) and the dynamic nature of the new covenant in Christ signified by the activity of the Spirit. The latter is greater and displays the glory of God more brilliantly. After spending time with God, Moses’ skin glowed brightly. How much more will believers shine with Spirit power!
Because we have this Spirit, we may boldly proclaim God’s truth and reflect God’s glory. But Paul also offers a warning here. Even though the Israelites witnessed God’s glory at Mount Sinai, they turned away from following God’s laws. Their memories were short; soon they acted as if their time at Mount Sinai had never happened. Some of his Jewish brothers and sisters, Paul says, are hard-hearted. They may hear the words given to Moses, but they have forgotten the glory of the one who gave them.
For followers of Christ, God’s glory has come in a greater form—the Spirit. Since we have this greater revelation, we should receive it without hindrance (without the “veil”).
But do we? Do we accept God’s teaching and the work of the Spirit openly, or do we create a barrier to obscure it? In what ways do we become hard-hearted? How do we prepare to receive God’s instruction and follow the Spirit’s prompting?
Lord, by your grace remove any barrier or obstacle that may stand between you and me. And allow me to receive from you with the veil removed. Amen.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.