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Lifting the Veil 
Sunday, February 18, 2007, 08:00 AM - Sermon
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2

The child was fussing, so the mother had to leave the older child in the ice cream store to attend to the younger crying one. Now it was a wrestling match trying to get the child in the origami of the belts of the car seat. After a few minutes the older child came out and got in the car and started squealing for another reason. There in front of them was a glorious rainbow stretching completely across the sky. The mother had missed it, it was blocked by the flaying arms and legs, and drowned out by screams and squeals.

Appropriate symbol for that time in a parent's life, one of God's care and consistency, which God's freely promises to preserve the world.

What gets between us and the glory of God?

Other Things
We can keep busy with work, keeping our mind on our labor even when we are home. Letting work keep us away from God. For students, they can be so wrapped up in school that there is no room to see God. For seniors, the distractions of home and health can keep our minds far from the things of God. For parents, the demands and needs of children can pull a veil over time with God. Sometimes it is impossible to close the door for a well deserved bubble bath, much less time for prayer.

An occasional snowstorm helps break our busyness cycle. Routines are disrupted; Color Our Rainbow had only 8 children on Valentine's Day, about a tenth of what they normally have to take care of. Stacy told me, “It's great! I'm getting all kinds of work done!” Severe weather can rip away the veils of activity and schedule that we have draped ourselves in and expose us to a winter wonderland transformed from ordinary to heavenly, if we are ready to see it.

When your schedule is bumped, or cancellations come your way; consider it is a gift from God and nudge to look up from that which screams for attention. It doesn't need to be the rainbow of God's presence.

Avoidance
Another veil that keeps us from the glory of God is our avoidance of times and places that we might be God. From a private prayer time, to Men of Luke 15 Bible Study, worship, to funeral services, or Ash Wednesday service, we can avoid the presence of God.

Folks like to quote evangelist Billy Sunday, “Going to church won't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage will make you a car.” Yet it is still true, that if you are a car, a garage is a good place to go to keep in running order. It takes a lot more work to be a car, if you avoid the protection and help that a garage can give.

Petrified
We can take a break in our busyness and be physically present and yet still have veils over the glory of God. We can cover up newness and tie down possibility, making sure that more light will never break free. Here is an account of Pastor John Robinson's final address to his congregation we know as the Pilgrims upon their departure to the New World, 1620:

We were now, ere long, to part asunder; and the Lord knoweth whether ever he should live to see our faces again. But whether the Lord had appointed it or not; he charged us, before God and his blessed angels, to follow him no further than he followed Christ: and if God should reveal anything to us by any other instrument of his, to be as ready to receive it, as ever we were to receive any truth by his Ministry. For he was very confident the Lord had more truth and light yet to break forth out of his holy Word.

Where is God's light breaking forth from his holy Word? I can't wait to see the film “Amazing Grace” about the idealist William Wilberforce who maneuvers his way through Parliament in 18th century England, endeavoring to end slavery in the empire. There is an example of more light breaking forth from the holy Word. What light awaits the 21st century?

Seen God
I have been close to God a few times. I was on a camp-out. Running all over the place at night. When I got up the next morning, I found that my lens was missing from the glasses. I despaired of finding it. It could be anywhere. But I looked, not want to come home with glasses that needed repaired. I looked and looked, had others look. I gave up and prayed. Just stopped where I was and prayed that I would find my lens. I opened my eyes and saw some reflection on the grass right were I was looking with my head bowed. I stopped breathing. Could it be? I reached for it, thinking it was a trick of the early morning dew. It was my lens.

Have you had moments like that? When God poked you and you giggled like the Pillsbury dough boy in the commercial?

For the glory of God, you have to pause, pray, and peer. Make room for God's glory, remove the veils that cover his presence from us and you will see rainbows that God is with us, even when we are not with God.

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