Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Day Thou Gavest Lord Is Ended"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 9:28b-30 – Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. (NRSVA)
Many churches celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration on August 6, based on the story in today's verses. We know what "mountaintop" experiences are, but this is not about anything that we do, rather that we become aware of what God is doing.
While praying, Jesus appears in a different light to the disciples, who witness Jesus stepping into heaven, surrounded by Moses the lawgiver and Elijah the prophet. Then, a cloud surrounds them, and a voice from God says, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" (Luke 9:35b NRSVA) In other words, "Be still, and know that I am God!" (Psalm 46:10a NRSVA)
I will never forget when my dad died. I was sitting beside him in the nursing home and was told by the doctor that he would not live long. It was Saturday night. I remember making countless phone calls and staying busy. I could not sit still. It was hard being silent. Then, around six o'clock on Sunday morning, Dad breathed his last. We were both still and silent.
I was keenly aware of something going on, call it "holy", as Dad's life — beginning and end — seemed before me. Then, there was a knock at the door. It was housekeeping. I informed the cleaning lady that Dad had just died and that there was no need for her help. She apologized but approached Dad's bed, asking if she could pray.
She prayed like an angel. She prayed for God to enter the room and fill Dad's lungs with the breath of the Holy Spirit. She prayed for his feet to walk in heaven and for him to be given the mind of Christ. She prayed that his eyes would see his loved ones in heaven and have a vision of God. It was as if a holy cloud had surrounded us. As she prayed, I wept like a baby. Then she left, almost as quickly as she entered.
I will always cherish the lady from housekeeping. And as I recall, this occurred on the Sunday of the Transfiguration.
In worship today, listen to Him. Hear Jesus say, "I am the resurrection and the life … and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25a,26 NRSVA) Our response to Jesus is life-changing, for ever and ever.
Prayer: Almighty God, it was on the Mount of Transfiguration that You did a mighty work in revealing Jesus as Your Son and calling upon us as witnesses to listen to Him. We thank You for the work that You did then, as You do now in our lives. Continue, we pray, to reveal the eternal life all around us, as we listen to Jesus, by praying that Your will may be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.