“V” is for Veil (March 14, 2013)

…Opening To…

If we would follow Jesus we must take certain definite steps. The first step, which follows the call, cuts the disciple off from his previous existence. The call to follow produces a new situation. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship)

…Listening In…

Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known. (1 Corinthians 13:12; context)

…Filling Up…

This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “V” is for Veil. Simply put, veils obscure vision. For example, a bride’s veil keeps the groom from seeing her clearly (which in turn leads to several of Shakespeare’s plots). For followers of Jesus Christ, the veil exists between our limited perception and God’s greater glory. We see a teeny tiny portion of the spectrum of light with our actual eyes, so it’s no wonder that our spiritual perception is similarly limited.

That’s where “revelation” comes in. Revelation is a translation of the word “apocalypse.” Now, before you start thinking that I’m talking about the end of the world, you should know that the word “apocalypse” doesn’t really have anything to do with the end times; however, that’s the linkage that exists in our present context. Here’s just a second of disentangling. “Apocalypse” literally means “to pull back a veil or curtain.” Revelation is about “revealing” what’s on the other side of the veil. Whether this revelation happened in the past, happens now, or will happen in the future is independent of the word “apocalypse.”

Okay, so our limited perception keeps us from seeing beyond the veil. There is some indefinable beauty on the other side, but we don’t really know what it is. The question then becomes: how do we know there is some indefinable beauty on the other side if we can’t see beyond the veil? Well, at some point or another, God pulled back the veil and gave us the gift of more expansive perception. Followers of Jesus believe this happened in the Incarnation, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the “revelation” of God. In the person of Jesus, God pulled back the curtain.

The veil still hangs in front of our faces. But it is not opaque. It is porous because the glory of God can’t help but penetrate it. This is why we have hope. The veil will be pulled back fully, and then we will know fully, even as we are fully known.

…Praying For…

Dear God, your glory cannot fit into the limited understanding that I have. But I pray that you keep revealing your love to me so that I can reveal it to others. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, trusting that you never leave me, trusting that you are above, below, behind, before, beside, and within me.

One thought on ““V” is for Veil (March 14, 2013)

  1. I’m really liking this series, Adam. What a treasure trove of insights await us beneath the surface meanings we give to words when we look beneath that to learn what they really mean. Revelation isn’t something unknown we need to worry about, it already exists, we just can’t see it yet. Apocalypse is nothing to fear, it’s just the certainty we’ll get to see all of what God already has set in place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s