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Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Scripture Reading: Luke 9:28–36
Now about eight days after these sayings 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. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah ”—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. (NRSV)
Could the contrast of verses 35 and 36 be any greater? A voice speaks, affirming the ministry of Jesus with the kind of approval we all sometimes seek from our parents or people we really look up to. “You are my Beloved.” Then the next sentence tells us that “Jesus was found alone.” This sentence contextualizes what the disciples were experiencing—and is striking because we can relate to it.
We come to church and our faith and value are reaffirmed, but in the week that follows our friends hurt us, our partners fail us, our colleagues irritate us, and our problems multiply. It is a back-and-forth. We go to our reservoir of faith—the scripture, food and friends, family time, prayer walks and spiritual journaling and devotionals like this one—but then we face the next crisis, the next disappointment, the next great pain or bout of depression. In those moments, like Jesus, we are found “alone.”
Jesus will be found alone again. As our Lenten reflections continue, return to those moments when Jesus is found alone—sometimes to regroup and deepen his connection to God and others, but at other times because he is abandoned by his disciples, chased out by his disapproving critics. He will even feel that he is abandoned by God.
I want you to return to those moments and see in Jesus your own loneliness; find there your own pain. And there, you can also remember the voice that says, loud and clear, “You are my daughter. You are my son. You are my beloved.”
God of our community and God in our loneliness, remind us of your voice, above the voice of all others, that declares us your children and your beloved ones. Amen.
Written by Edwin Estevez, Pastoral Resident
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