Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; 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. 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 Paul, speaking from his own experience and knowledge refers to a veil over the mind; a way of thinking concerning the Law of Moses. Without disregarding the law, Paul in his authority as a Pharisee and desire to serve God was forced (blinded) in order that he may think differently about God’s intended purpose for him. By his own culture and tradition blindness was considered a sin. By his own culture and tradition, only by the grace of God did he remove the veil and regain his sight. In our own desire to seek and serve God he removes every veil of in our understanding of his presence within us, that His glory may be revealed, and we too are free to boldly emerge transformed as we learn to leave all wilderness behind.
As we approach the 4thof July I’d like to begin this week talking a bit about Independence. As a citizen, we don’t always take the time to understand what it really means to have independence. According to the American Heritage dictionary, it has several similar meanings. One definition of independence, which is my personal favorite, is having sufficient income to enable one to live without working. Wouldn’t that be sweet? Some of us enjoy this kind of independence from birth while the rest of us strive towards such independence in our older years. A second definition means not to be governed by a foreign power. This is probably what the forefathers of our nation had in mind when drafting the Declaration of Independence. The repeated injuries and abuses by the King of Great Britain impelled the States to separate from the bonds of government, which subjected them to what they believed was absolute despotism. Still, another definition is to be free from the influence, or control of others. Was it not the hope of our parents before us, as it is for us as parents today, that our children grow to be free from the influence and control of others, particularly from those who purposely mislead and destruct? Although we are apart of an establishment, the government of the United States, we encourage our children to be leaders and independent thinkers. While our constitution is not perfect, it does provide us opportunity (although perhaps not necessarily equal) to expect these inalienable rights that are deserving and the right of every human being. I say all this because I believe Independence Day is a great opportunity to compare the physical against the spiritual.