face to face

Jul 27, 2021

I’m not sure that when I was a child I would have described Jesus as my friend. I’m always happy when children today speak of Jesus in this intimate way. I might have been more likely to talk of Jesus as God or saviour or some other theological title.
In today’s first reading we hear that “The Lord would speak with Moses face to face, as a person speaks with his friend.”
The implied warmth and reality of this relationship is a gift. Jesus is not God-far-from-us-up-in-the-heavens, but Jesus is God WITH us.  In Jesus we meet God in every up and down of each day. We are never alone.
A little later in this same reading we realise that Moses’ friendship with God is grounded in God’s reality, not fantasies of God but God’s reality:  “The Lord, the Lord, a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness; for thousands he maintains his kindness, forgives faults, transgression, sin.”
Moses appreciates that while he can speak with God with the intimacy of human friendship, God is not simply another human friend among many. Moses understands that God is God. My human friends, while great company, cannot work the miracles I so often need. 
God can work miracles and is waiting for our invitation.
This is why Moses “bowed down to the ground at once and worshipped”


  1. Today’s psalm gives us the context of this friendship …
    ‘The Lord is compassion and love.’
    So grateful that this is so and challenged to be the same

  2. Wonderful, thanks John

    I think of te reo Māori who translate “face to face” as “kanohi ki te kanohi”

    The best way of meeting and sorting things out is “kanohi ki te kanohi”, “face to face”, in person

    Even ‘zoom’ achieves that!

    The great wonder is to look forward to (and even sensing now) God lovingly with us, face to face

  3. I forget that God is waiting for our invitation- powerful words


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