What's your albedo level?

Today's Devotional Thought:

2 Corinthians 3:18, "And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

When I was a kid my Mom was conscientious about my safety. In the evenings when I would ride my bike home from my friends house my bike had two ways that I could be seen and hopefully not flattened by a speeding bus. First it had a headlamp. Second it had reflectors on the back. This, of course, did not make me cool by any degree. It possibly made me more safe. Except that the batteries in the headlight were always burning out. Their source of illumination was temporary and would fade away. But the reflectors always did their job. They needed no battery change. When light hit them, they reflected.

When Moses climbed Mount Sinai to get the commandments of God and he entered into God's presence he turned into a kind of headlight. God charged him up and when he came down he glowed. We read in Exodus 34:29-30, "When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him."

So, Moses put a veil over his face. Initially it was to not frighten but the veil's purpose turned in Moses' story. When Moses would come down he would speak to Israel with veil lifted. This way they could see the glory of God radiating from him. A confirmation he was speaking God's words. After speaking he would lower the veil. This was no longer not to frighten but because the glory of God (in the Bible glory and light are related terms) eventually would fade and go out. Like the headlight, when the batteries lost their juice, the light would dim and go out. This is all because Moses had to leave God's presence to give God's word.

Paul's point in 2 Corinthians 3 is that we now live in a reflector age while Moses lived in a headlamp age. A reflector will shine as long as it is in direct line with the light source. Part of the good news of the gospel of Jesus is that when Jesus died the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies (the presence of God) in the temple was torn from top to bottom. That which separated man from God has been removed. Thus the veil of Moses is no longer needed because now man can dwell in the presence of God and God's glory need never depart. Or as Paul puts it: "But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away" (2 Corinthians 3:16).

In today's reflector age we need not worry about the veil. Instead we are concerned about remaining, by the grace of Jesus' incredible blessing, in the constant presence of God. We are expected to reflect the glory of God into the darkness of the world around us. We can give this a new term. We can call it "spiritual albedo."

Paul likens us to shining stars. He says, " that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky..." (Philippians 2:15) and the word shine means to reflect. The scientific term is "albedo." It's a measurement of how much sunlight a celestial body reflects. The planet Venus, for example, has the highest albedo at .65. In other words, 65 percent of the light that hits Venus is reflected. Depending on where it's at in its orbit, the almost-a-planet Pluto has an albedo ranging from .49 to .66. Our night-light, the moon, has an albedo of .07. Only seven percent of sunlight is reflected, yet it lights our way on cloudless nights.

In a similar sense, each of us has a spiritual albedo. The goal? One hundred percent reflectivity. 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. You cannot produce light. You can only reflect it.

Are you reflecting today? What level is your "spiritual albedo" at? Don't be satisfied with anything less than 100%.

Prayer: Holy Father, let your light reflect upon us. Make us more into Your image that Your glory can be seen in us. Thank you that the curtain is torn and the veil removed and that our lives can become a constant communion with You. You are the source of all we love and all we are. In Jesus name, amen.