February 22, 2004

Luke 9:28-43

[28] About eight days after [talking about his suffering, death, and raising], [Jesus] climbed the mountain to pray, taking Peter, John, and James along. [29] While he was in prayer, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became blinding white. [30] At once two men were there talking with him. They turned out to be Moses and Elijah- [31] and what a glorious appearance they made! They talked over his exodus, the one Jesus was about to complete in Jerusalem.

[32] Meanwhile, Peter and those with him were slumped over in sleep. When they came to, rubbing their eyes, they saw Jesus in his glory and the two men standing with him. [33] When Moses and Elijah had left, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, this is a great moment! Let's build three memorials: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He blurted this out without thinking.

[34] While he was babbling on like this, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them. As they found themselves buried in the cloud, they became deeply aware of God. [35] Then there was a voice out of the cloud: "This is my Son, the Chosen! Listen to him."

[36] When the sound of the voice died away, they saw Jesus there alone. They were speechless. And they continued speechless, said not one thing to anyone during those days of what they had seen.

[37] When they came down off the mountain the next day, a big crowd was there to meet them. [38] A man called from out of the crowd, "Please, please, Teacher, take a look at my son. He's my only child. [39] Often a spirit seizes him. Suddenly he's screaming, thrown into convulsions, his mouth foaming. And then it beats him black and blue before it leaves. [40] I asked your disciples to deliver him but they couldn't."

[41] Jesus said, "What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring your son here."

[42] While he was coming, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into convulsions. Jesus stepped in, ordered the vile spirit gone, healed the boy, and handed him back to his father. [43] They all shook their heads in wonder, astonished at God's greatness, God's majestic greatness.

[The Message]


1. Looking for a needed change, a sign confirming your boldest vision, a transfiguration? It can happen anytime, but prayer-time seems to be more consistent an event for these gifts to be recognized and lived. Pray intentionally. Take along some friends and pray.

2. Pray even when your friends fall asleep. Pray beyond the boundaries. The past comes to visit and to affirm you beyond the future. This is more than ghosts of Christmas past or Christmas future. This is more than a Scroogian repentance. It is a going and a glowing and a growing from glory to glory. It is a model for going on to wholeness for ourselves ourselves and all of creation.

We keep trying to make or force meaning from events beyond our experience. Eventually we will fall silent and simply live beyond present meaning, in that time and space where time and space are playfully malleable.

3. So easily do we fall for the externals of technique and miss the internal dynamics of relationships. I'm sure the disciples had done everything they had learned. They had even resorted to digging out their lecture notes to be sure they had followed the correct decision tree and formulae for their analysis.

One image is that the disciples were so caught up in healing the boy that they didn't see where the healing was going toward - the healing of the father through the return of his son. Is this a wonder: GOD's healing comes through our healing? If we miss that part beyond technique of the particular, then we miss the powerful wonder of healing - GOD is being healed! [If this intrigues you, you may be interested in finding a slim volume by Nikos Kazantzakis, The Saviors of GOD: Spiritual Exercises. ]

Praying intentionally, praying beyond the boundaries, brings us to participate in this larger healing.