Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Standing in the Presence

Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13

Life with Jesus was a little bit like fishing.
Some days the net drug the bottom, scraping sand.
Other days it was flung high into the air, almost flying
Until it settled on the deck of the ship.

One day Jesus called Peter, “The Rock”
The rock upon which his church would be built.
Soon after that he called him Satan,
Berating Peter for presenting temptation.
Peter never knew what to expect,
But he was absolutely certain,
Certain to the marrow of his bones,
That he would not choose to be anywhere else.

Today Jesus called three of them,
The brothers James and John, and Peter
To go with him up a mountain.
He went willingly; honored to be included.

The climb was rough, rocky
The hot son beat upon them
But Peter would never dare to complain.
He would walk through fire for this man.

The four of them stood on the mountain-top,
Surrounded by beauty,
But their attention was for Jesus, and nothing else.

He stood before them,
And all three stared
As his garments became white.
Whiter than anything they had ever seen before.
He glowed with the radiance of a full moon,
With the heat of a white star.

Then, as if that were not spectacular in itself,
Two other men appeared.
Peter could not really see their faces,
But he knew, with a certainty that he would never question,
That the two men were Moses and Elijah.

All three men sank to their knees in amazement.
In wonder.
In fear.
How could this be?

In his wildest dreams,
Peter would never be able to understand this.
Never fathom or explain it.
All he knew, even in his fear,
Was that he wanted to stay on this mountain.
The presence of God had never been closer.
Faith had become doubt-less.

He looked at Jesus, and said,
“Lord, tell me we can stay here.
I will build shelters for all three of you.
Just allow me to stay in this place.”

While he was speaking,
A bright white cloud enveloped them,
Surrounding them.
Filling them with the knowledge
That they were standing in the presence of God.
They hid their faces in fear, and heard,
“This is my son, in whom I am well pleased.
Listen to him”

Peter couldn’t move.
He could barely breath.
Only the voice of Jesus,
His touch, his breath,
Could penetrate the fear.
“Get up. Do not be afraid.”

He looked up, and found that Jesus
Stood on the mountain alone,
His company no longer the prophets
Or God himself,
But only his three disciples.

Every muscle quaking in fear,
Peter stood up, and began to follow Jesus
Down the mountain.
Unwilling, but compelled.

The three disciples began to talk,
Sharing their awe, their wonder.
Jesus turned around and stopped them.

“Don’t tell anyone what you have seen.
Keep it to yourselves,
Until it is dwarfed by something even larger.
Keep it to yourselves,
Until I am raised from the dead.”

Image credit: This site
To: Betrayal


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