Lenten Devotional for Friday, March 23, 2012

Mark 9: verses 1-5 (in part)
Jesus took Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain apart….And he was transfigured….and there appeared to them Elijah and Moses who were talking with Jesus.  Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.  

I go on a vacation.  The first day, I think, “I know I’m supposed to be doing  something other than soaking up the sun and looking at the ocean.  I left some important projects unfinished at home, and I’m worried that someone might need me while I’m gone.” The next day the projects don’t seem as important; and if anyone needs me, they can find someone else.  I just want to soak up the sun and swim in the ocean.  I love doing this.  The following day while driving to the store, I notice  “For Sale” signs on some beach houses and a Realtor’s Office with a “Welcome” sign out front.  I actually think, “It might be possible for me to buy a beach condo or cottage and stay here.” This would make a wonderful home.

Ah, now I understand Peter’s suggestion to build three dwellings and be with Jesus on the mountaintop!  At first Peter was afraid when he saw Jesus transfigured and shining.  But soon  he was loving soaking up the awe of it all.

The work of being a follower of Jesus had been demanding.  And lately Jesus has  been talking about “taking up your cross.”  So Peter offers to build cottages on the mountaintop for them to live in. On the mountaintop with James and John and Moses and Elijah and Jesus, and no one else!

But Jesus leads us up the mountain and then down again into the valley.

Loving Christ, Forgive us for the times when we’ve wanted to stay in the brightness of the mountaintop with you.  And forgive us as well for the times when we’ve gotten so caught up in your work (and ours) that we’ve lost the joy of being your followers. Let us remember that you are with us in awesome mountaintop experiences as well as among hungry crowds needing be fed and people crying to be healed.  Thank you for leading us to shining mountaintops and for walking with us into valleys of struggle and suffering. Amen.

Sandy Winter

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