With Open Face Author:George E. Failing "With open face" is the very phrase (in the KJV) appearing in II Corinthians 3:18. In that chapter Paul contrasts the dispensation of Moses with the dispensation of Jesus Christ. That first dispensation was glorious, for even on Mt. Sinai as Moses communed with God, "the skin of his face shone as he talked with [God]." The radiance of God's be... more »auty imprinted itself on Moses' face. But Moses' shining face was too much for Israel to see, so Moses put a veil upon his face. When communing with God, Moses removed the veil; when appearing before people, he put it on.
When we commune with God we must also unveil our face, or take off the mask. My friend Festo Kivengere, Bishop of the Church of Uganda, has observed that Christians commonly wear masks. What you see is the mask, not the person. So a person wearing a mask talks to another who also wears a mask. These "Christians" may not be hypocrites, but they are not Spirit-filled. One mark of the Spirit's fullness is openness, boldness. "When you pray," said Jesus, "enter into your closet, shut your door, and pray to your Faterh who is in secret." I suppose this may be one reason why secret prayer is so difficult: it is hard to wear a mask before God. If we mask our faces in the closet, we may find God also wearing a mask! If we will not "look full in His wonderful face," He cannot reveal to us His glory, His grace, His holiness.
With open face we are also to communicate and worship with other Christians. In gathering together these editorials, I have found each editor, in one editorial perhaps more than another, looking at me without a mask. While their eyes pierced with discernment, they are also warm with love.« less