Friday, February 5, 2016
In worship it seems like we hear the same scriptures over and over. Maybe that’s because we all have some trouble listening.
On the last Sunday of the Season after Epiphany—and right before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent—the gospel lesson is always an account of Jesus transfigured on the mountain.
Although the details vary from Mark, Luke, or Matthew…
Every time, it is the same basic story.
Jesus, Peter, James, and John go up a mountain.
Jesus and his clothes change in appearance (he is transfigured).
Moses and Elijah appear.
But the truly interesting thing about this story is what happens next.
This painting by Alexandr Ivanov, captures the scene at the moment Peter decides to interrupt the moment with, “Hey Jesus, I’ve got an idea…”
What a good lesson for all of us to hear.
Every. Single. Year.
Jesus is time after time telling us how things are to be as followers, in the kingdom of God, in the new life of the resurrection. Jesus is over and again showing us what this ministry does, and says, who it is for. Jesus is always leading us towards the cross and beyond. Jesus is repeatedly revealing the power behind his words.
And the disciples are always interrupting.
So, “love your enemies,” is a nice idea and all, but it’s not really that realistic…
And when it comes to “don’t judge,” well, you wouldn’t say that if you knew what they did…
I know you said, “you give them something to eat,” but we’ve got other bills to pay…
I heard what you said about, “follow me,” but first, I have a few other things to do…
I know what you said about suffering, dying, rising…but can’t we just stay here?
There is a cloud lurking in the background of this painting, foreshadowing what is coming next.
And before Peter will be able get his complete thought out, he himself will be interrupted as a voice from above thunders, “This is my Son, my chosen; listen to him!”
Once again, it is time for us to listen up, as well.