March 7, 2004

Luke 9:28-36

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

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. 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.

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. Then there was a voice out of the cloud: "This is my Son, the Chosen! Listen to him."

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.

<The Message>

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1. Which part of the "exodus" process do you think Moses, Elijah, and Jesus were talking about? Is this a particular trial period in a longer exodus, like at Meribah or the cave? Is it the issue of experiencing betrayal? Is it a mysterious end of unknown grave or chariot? What conversation do you think would bring the kind of insight to Jesus that would account for lighting up his countenance?

2. Let's presume that was some sense of being cared for in the midst of uncertainty that reduced the uncertainty that clouded things. How like you and me to miss the moment of revelation. We work so hard to get in a position to experience a breakthrough moment and find that we slept through. When we finally catch on that the moment has come and gone we hustle up and try to make sense out of the faint trail of an annunciation.

It might almost be better to simply recognize that we missed it again but we are glad someone was awake. This would allow us to ask after the revelation rather than posture some inappropriate bravado.

3. When we are not up to listening, on our own, there is usually a reminder that this is a most important posture to nurture. So often we know beforehand what it is that GOD should say and how it should be said rather than simply to listen for the new word.

I find that my best comments come as a result of better listening. I usually spend as much time listening first before setting fingers to keys for these little three points with no poem comments. What proportion of listening to commenting do you find most helpful for yourself or for others?