About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 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.)
While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. – Luke 9:28-34
When the clouds of life overshadow us, we may become overwhelmed with fear, but we should not dismay. Those are the complications of life. Instead, we are to turn to and trust Jesus. He will bring us through safely. He is God’s answer to our earthly trials and tribulations.
Sunday past was the Sunday of the Transfiguration of our Lord. Transfiguration Sunday is the last Sunday in the season of Epiphany. With the celebration of Ash Wednesday, on March 2, we are now in the season of Lent.
The text tells us that Jesus took three of his disciples – Peter, James, and John with him, up on the mountain. He went up on the mountain to pray.
In Luke’s 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.
Peter was so elated to have witnessed the glory of God, he could not contain himself. This mountaintop encounter was like none he had ever experienced. He even volunteered to build shelters for them to live in because he wanted to stay atop the mountain.
As he was speaking, a cloud overshadowed them. This frightened the disciples.
I have done much flying during my life. Going through the clouds can be unnerving.
The clouds give one a sense of uncertainty. Therefore, I can appreciate how the disciples felt.
During my lifetime, I have been atop many mountains. It’s a great experience. Up there, I was at peace with myself, and I felt very close to God.
Peter, wanting to stay up on the mountain, was not unusual. Life on the mountain is so peaceful, so serene. One can just blot out all of life’s imperfections and be at peace.
However, even so, notwithstanding the wonderful experience that the disciples had, their mission was not on the mountain. Jesus had called them to speak his truth in the valley.
While the disciples were fascinated with the mountaintop experience, they were not to stay up there and bask in the elation of the moment. The work that Jesus came to do was in the valley.
Therefore, even though the mountain top had its serenity, and its glory, the real work of God’s people is down in the valley. It is in the valley where Jesus calls us to speak of his glory through the life that we live.
While in the valley, as did the disciples, we will have our trials and tribulations. Our Lord will give us the faith, the courage, and the strength to deal with any setbacks. Whatever our situation, He is always with us. Amen.
• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.