Jesus will take us through
As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) – Luke 9:29-33
Sunday past, the Transfiguration of our Lord, marks the last Sunday in Epiphany. Luke’s account of Jesus’ ministry places much emphasis on Jesus at prayer. In his narrative of the Transfiguration, he tells us that Jesus was praying when he was transformed.
Then there appeared two men with him. They were Moses and Elijah, who represented the law and the prophets.
Just as the visitors, Moses and Elijah, were leaving, the disciples, Peter, James and John, who were with Jesus on the mountain, and asleep, awoke. Peter was so fascinated with this mountaintop experience, he wanted to build shelters in which they could live and probably stay atop the mountain.
His experience of seeing Jesus’ glory was so magnificent and majestic, he felt that it was fitting that they remain in that setting, indefinitely. That was really a mountaintop experience unlike any he could ever imagine. Consequently, Peter offered to build living shelters for them to inhabit.
While Peter was talking, he and the other disciples were overshadowed by a cloud. This frightened them.
For those of us who often fly, going into or through clouds can be somewhat frightening. A few days ago, I flew home from San Antonio, Texas, via New York. The cloud formation made the flight home quite bumpy.
The density of the clouds gives us a fear of uncertainty when the plane goes through them. Up there, we are at the mercy of God.
The disciples were afraid. They felt fear even though they had witnessed Jesus taking control of the elements in the past. On the mountain and in life he was their protector. They had no need to fear because he was there with them.
We have no need to fear the problems of life because Jesus is also with us. He said, “I will never leave you. I will be with you always, even to the very end of the age.” Therefore, we should call on Jesus when we are in distress or are afraid.
There are probably many of us today who have had a mountaintop experience of fear, during the past weeks. We all have moments when we are afraid, whether it is about the impending death of a loved one; our own health; disruption in our lives or job; or family-related.
In our darkest hours, Jesus is standing with us. When we travel through the dark clouds of life, he is there with us.
During the turmoil and confusion of life, Jesus is there in the midst, guiding us. Jesus will take us through, whether in life or in death.
Yes, the clouds can be an uneasy experience, figuratively and literally. When I enter the clouds, whether in the sky of life, whatever the result of the journey through, I know that my Lord and Savior is with me. If the journey is unsuccessful, then I trust him to take me to eternal life.
Through his suffering, death and resurrection, he restored humankind to the image of God. That brings us to Lent, which began with Ash Wednesday, yesterday. We now begin our 40 days’ walk, which leads to the cross and to Easter, the resurrection of our Lord. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone 323-4107, E-mail [email protected], or Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.