Thursday, 5 January 2017


God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations. – Psalm 67.1-2

I think everyone likes a bit of sunshine. Between the short days and clouds sunshine is something that is often lacking in Irish winters. When it comes folks tend to rush out and bask in its brightness and warmth.

I also think of the old John Denver that said ‘sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy.’

It is all kind of warm and cozy and good feeling.

But here we read of even a greater kind of ‘shine’ that I have chosen to call ‘faceshine.’ ‘God be merciful to bless us and cause His face to shine upon us.’

I love that image. There is no better glow to bask in than the shekinah glory of God’s face. It is a glory that man cannot even handle. It is a glory that even when Moses was close to God was so great that Moses had to veil his face when he came back to the people. God’s faceshine give light and warmth to break through the darkest and coldest gloom. God’s faceshine can light the darkest time of life, even through the valley of the shadow of death. God’s faceshine is the light at the end of the tunnel.

It is in God’s faceshine that we find hope in the dark days of bad news. It will lighten the deepest and darkest days of despair and disappointment and discouragement and depression.

Our pray in those days ought to be that of he psalmist – ‘Lord, let Your face shine on us in these hours of darkness and may we learn to walk in Your light.’

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