“Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, … since only in Christ is it set aside. … but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. … For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts and to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 3:12, 14d, 16-18, 4:5-6
Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, a day we express hope in the promises of God. In what, in who do you hope? Since we may hope in God we may hope with boldness, because of what we read in these verses today. The entirety of the grace of God as Wesleyans understand grace is on display in these verses. Prevenient Grace, the grace of God that goes before us, wooing us into relationship with God is seen in the setting aside of the veil allowing all access to God. As one comes to belief in and accepts Christ as Savior one is freed by the Spirit of God – Justifying Grace. When we move into this freedom we are transformed into the likeness of Christ and continue to be transformed into His image from one degree to another – Sanctifying Grace. With our hope firmly fixed in God, we find peace, joy and love; we are lit up by God’s grace and the light of God shines out into the darkness, overcoming darkness in others. This Advent season let us all allow the glory of God to shine on us, and into our hearts so that we reflect the glory of God to others.