Monday, February 20, 2012


How does it change things to look at sunrise through a frosty windshield? The light has a prism-like quality through the starbursts of frost. The colors are there, but the true scene is obscured into a modern-art print. Beautiful, to be sure, but very different.

Step outside the car and the art evolves to realism.

The scene changes again as I drive a mile and a half away. The sun creeps closer to the horizon, and the blue of night gives way to the fiery dawn of the day.

To see, we need to look. To hear, we need to listen. To experience, we need to open our hearts and minds to the possibilities. Sometimes that means looking at something in a new way.

What must it have been like for Peter, James and John to trudge up to the top of a mountain with Jesus (Mark 9: 2-9)? This was their friend with whom they'd been traveling as he went from village to village, preaching to crowds and healing the sick.

But when they got to the top of the mountain, Jesus was revealed to them in a whole new way.
3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)

7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.

Mark 9: 3-10

Yesterday, on Transfiguration Sunday, Pastor Amy's sermon was titled "Dancing on the Mountaintop, Living in the Valley."

We all like the mountaintop experiences of life. Who wouldn't want to be filled with wonder, awe and surprise? Who doesn't like the highs of life?

But life is meant to be lived and that means going back down to the valley. The valley is where we grow and learn. It's where we raise our families. It's where we do the work we're meant to do. We are called to be engaged in the world. We are called to love God and then love our neighbors. We are called to let the light of Christ shine through us.

Sometimes we have to "burn through" the frost of life's disappointments and challenges. But when we do, we get a glimpse of something much better.

Awesome God, confronted by the dazzling light of Your glory, we want to stay on the mountaintop and worship You. But You call us to do more than worship. You call us into action as Your disciples. May we shine the transforming light of Your love into all the world. Use our worship, use our gifts, use our lives, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

It was a corporate prayer from yesterday, but I think it's a good prayer to start the week, especially as we journey toward Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Don't you?

Today, I'm linked to "Hear It on Sunday, Use it on Monday" at Michelle's blog, Graceful: Faith in the Everyday.

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