Welcome to the Sunday Devotional.
Today is Transfiguration Sunday and the main scripture, Luke 9:28-36, tells about Jesus’ trip up the mountain to pray and talk with God. I feel like I’ve climbed a mountain this week, as I’m sure many of you do, as well. So let’s consider ourselves at the top of the mountain. This is a good time to sit down, put our worries aside and spend time with God. Come join me.
I realized on Friday that I had only been home from my trip to Missouri a week. I had to look hard at the calendar to double-check. It does feel like I’ve trekked up a mountain this week. Just getting back into my normal routine has been part of this rather arduous journey.
In the scripture three of Jesus’ friends, Peter, James and John, went with him and witnessed an amazing sight. Standing with Jesus were Moses and Elijah who had lived long before. Then the friends saw Jesus’ face change (transfigure) and his robes became as white and bright as lightning. As they took all of this in, a cloud overcame them and they heard the voice of God saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” What a marvelous experience! What was their reaction? They told Jesus they should make a shelter for Jesus and the prophets who were standing with them. It seems they expected everyone and everything to stay unchanged. For Peter, James and John this was surely holy ground.
As I read through this scripture, I wondered, “Was Jesus transformed in front of them, or did they witness the presence of God shining through him?” Perhaps we should look for that brightness and light as the presence of God in others and in ourselves? Does God’s light shine through me? Can others see it? As I journey with Jesus, I know there is a change within me. I am not the same today as yesterday. But does that change show through to others?
How can we let that glow of God’s love shine on those around us? What can we do to fan that flame? This week I reflected on where that intenseness of God’s spirit showed itself in my life and realized it was when I focused on God’s love and the message of Jesus. It was at church camps, reunions and retreats - places where I was able to put the daily stresses of life aside. But it would do no good to stay at camps or retreats and never move on. God’s light shines on us so we can take His light and cause it to shine on others through us. Like Peter, James and John, I cannot stay on the mountaintop. The mountaintop is not the destination. It is the starting place.
Dear God, With Jesus as our guide and our companion, we climb the mountain. And from there, may we step into the world around us, transformed, and ready to share all that we have gained. May others see our transformation that reflects God’s presence and God’s love. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Author: Bonnie Barber
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Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.