Shiny happy people?

Here's this week's "Opening the Bible" blog post from i.ucc. The blog entry is called "Shiny happy people?" Have you joined the United Church of Christ's online community?
There's a whole lot of people glowing in this week's Bible readings -- and the reactions to them aren't all the same!
The glowing faces of Moses and Jesus are the focus of two Bible readings for this week (Exodus 34:29-35 and Luke 9:28-36.)

In the reading about Moses, we find that he comes down from the mountain where he spent time in the cloud with God. Moses has the two tablets of the 10 commandments and his face is white and glowing. The people are afraid of his glowing face, so he covers it with a veil. (Why? Is it so that they won't be afraid of him? Is it because he knows it will wear off and they won't be impressed anymore?) Regardless, the people saw the glowing face as a sign that Moses had been in God's presence and they were in awe.

It's interesting to note that in another Old Testament reading from Numbers 12:9-12, Miriam (Moses' sister) spends some time in the cloud and starts glowing too. But in this case, the reaction is different. "She has a skin disease!" is the reaction to a woman glowing. How is it that Moses glows and it's God and Miriam glows and it's a disease?

Fast forward to Luke 9 -- Jesus takes Peter, James and John up the mountain to pray. And then Jesus starts glowing too! On top of that, Moses and Elijah appear and talk with Jesus. Peter's reaction isn't exactly one of awe -- it's more a reaction of (what's a word that means "I have no idea what to say?"). He moves into "let's make some dwelling places for you three" mode. I guess he was so dumbfounded (is that the word?) that he couldn't even comprehend what the glowing meant.

Three glowing people -- three reactions:
Awe and fear
Accusation of disease
What kind of reaction have you had, or do you think you might have, if you encounter someone who has been in God's presence? What does that really mean? What do you think your reaction has been, or would be if you experience God's presence? And what does that really mean?

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