Today in the life of the Church we celebrate the feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist. Perhaps writing about John’s gospel would be fitting today, however, let us look at one of my favorite passages from Exodus–Exodus 33:18-23 (which is the OT text assigned for John’s feast day):
Moses said to God, “Show me your glory, I pray.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, `The LORD’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.” And the LORD continued, “See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”
What a fantastic conversation to have with God–and what wonderful language. “I will make all of my goodness pass before you…” God doesn’t say that He will destroy things to show His might, nor does He desire to show Moses His power, or even His immense ability to create out of nothing. No, the one thing that God chooses to reveal to Moses (aside from his back) is His GOODNESS.
On this third day of Christmas–which, if your household is like mine has gotten off to a fairly relaxed start–I’ll ask this simple question: Where has God passed by you and shown YOU His goodness? Where has God revealed the goodness that is the essence of God’s love for you? Perhaps those moments have been huge–like the moment that Moses experiences in the passage above. But, I will wager that those moments have been small, simple, and perhaps even fleeting…but still, they have been there, even again and again.
Pause. Take a quiet moment. Give yourself one minute and think about, remember, and revel in the large, and maybe even small and quiet moments where God has passed by you with all of His goodness.