“Aura”

While Moses was on Mount Sinai chiseling out the Ten Commandments on stone tablets, the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him.  And He passed in front of Moses (Ex 34:4-5). Moses was up there with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights.  When he came down from Mount Sinai, he was not aware that his face was radiant (aura) because he had spoken with the Lord (v 29-35).  The Israelites were afraid to come near him so he put a veil over his face except when he entered the Lord’s presence to speak with Him.

The apostle Paul refers to this event when addressing the Corinthians (2 Cor 3: 7-18).  He asks, “will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?” “We are not like Moses who would put a veil over his face…But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3: 13-18)

The second dictionary definition of aura is: a light or radiance claimed to emanate from the body and be visible to certain individuals… This was the kind of aura that the Israelites feared and the cause of the veil which Moses wore.  The first meaning, however, is: a distinctive and pervasive quality or character; air; atmosphere.  One of the meanings of radiant is: bright with joy or hope.  Quite obviously Christians today exude that aura and not the one that shone in the face of Moses.  But how do outsiders perceive the reflection of the Lord’s glory during our transformation into His likeness without a visible aura?

Paul has some very practical answers in 3 of his letters. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Col 4:5) “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands…” “So that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders…”  (1 Th 4: 11-12) “He (elder) must have a good reputation with outsiders so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” (1 Tim 3:7)  Even if our face does not emit an aura, our conduct can.

–Jim Bailey