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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

March 3, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Luke 9:28–36

When I was in high school, I had a rather unique way of trying to remember special places I visited. I would take a different electric alarm clock on each vacation or band camp and when I unplugged the clock I thought I was locking that moment, that experience, in time on that one special clock. This lasted until my mom found a pile of alarm clocks in my closet and without wondering why they were all there started using them again in various places.

This story may seem strange now (and it is), but when Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him to the top of a mountain to pray and they saw the face of Jesus change, his clothes become dazzling white, and Moses and Elijah appear and talk with him, they wanted to do something to remember the moment also. They wanted to build a dwelling, a shrine, something to hold onto the moment and experience it over and over; they wanted to preserve it so others could experience it as well. The disciples had good intentions, but Jesus wasn’t content to just stay in that moment, because as soon as he came down from that mountain he went to work the next day. He met a crowd of people and started healing and helping them.

We can all have mountaintop experiences and hopefully do, but we can’t just hold on to them and not allow those moments to change us. It is what we do with the transformation within ourselves that matters. Jesus realized that he had to move on and enter the crowds. (My mom knew that alarm clocks were meant to be used, not piled up in a closet.) Transformation on a mountaintop, in a worship service, on a vacation, in front of a painting, or at a concert is important, but it is not enough; it is only the beginning. We are called by God to share that transformation to make the world a better place. We are all called to put into actions the transforming love of God.

Transforming God, help me share the gifts you have given me so that my actions can help others and be a transformation for them and for me. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

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