Today in chapel, I listened to a fascinating sermon which explored the relation between the words emanant, imminent, and immanent with respect to two biblical stories: 1) Moses in the presence of God on Mount Sinai and 2) the transfiguration of Jesus in Luke.
Both figures, Moses and Jesus, are aglow with the presence of God. Moses, on Mount Sinai, converses with God. He begins to emanate from the imminence of God–that is, glowing because God is near to him. He is reflecting the glory of God’s presence close to him.
Jesus is aglow with the presence of God as well. However Jesus is emanating God’s glory because God is immanent to him–that is, glowing because God is within him. We might say that Jesus is perfectly reflecting God because Jesus is God. God is so near to Jesus that God overflows Jesus and shines through him. Jesus is translucent to the divine.
My own musing moves from this insight to a thought about our relation to God’s glory through Jesus. By faith in Jesus Christ, we too are aglow with God’s presence–it is within us as we are incorporated into Jesus. However foreign this presence is to us–it is God’s glory and not ours–that is, however different it remains, it has come so near to us through Jesus Christ that it is within us. By faith we glow with God’s presence.
Where, then, might we take that light? What shadows might we illuminate with the presence of God streaming from our countenance. Where can we glow with God’s glory?