The Holy Gospel: February 10, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 9:28-36

Meditation:  “Reactions to Revelation”

The lectionary reading moves swiftly.  Last week we were in Nazareth at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry; today we stand on the mountain of transfiguration.  In both places, Jesus is revealing that the Spirit of the Lord is upon him.

Taking last week’s lesson and connecting it with today’s passage, we get a good picture of reactions to revelation.  Last week, it was the reaction of resistance, as the synagogue crowd in Nazareth were confronted with the reality of who Jesus was (is).

Today the reaction is one of spiritual selfishness, expressed in Peter’s befuddled request to build the booths and stay on the mountain.

If we cannot postpone the coming of God into our lives (Nazareth), then we try to hoard it (the mountain).  If we cannot resist the Spirit, we try to consume the Spirit.  Resistance and consumerism are both what the ego does in order to avoid the Spirit’s work in our lives.

Jesus has none of either response.  To those who would delay receiving the Spirit, he says that the spiritual life is always lived today.  To those who would consume the Spirit, he says that the spiritual life always leads us down from the mountaintop to where God’s presence meets the world’s need.

It’s interesting that even the lectionary reading leaves us on the mountain, on the threshold of repeating the same spirit of consumerism that Peter voiced, but the actual Gospel of Luke takes us to the father whose son was in great suffering.

Vision is always the prelude to voyage.  Jesus always combines “see me” with “follow me.”


About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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