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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, April 10, 2019              

Today’s 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)

“As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes flashed white like lightning.”

What would I have done if I had seen this transformation?

I can relate to a combination of fear and awe that the disciples exhibited. Who will believe me? Do I even believe what I just saw?

I can’t relate to what the disciples saw that day. I’ve never seen such a glorious metamorphosis involving Jesus.

The transformations that hit home in my life are more incremental. Tripping over the size 11.5 shoes of my thirteen-year-old son, but in my mind I see the kindergartener that I bundled up for school as if it were yesterday. My beloved baseball team taking a lifetime to shift from a doormat to world champions. The work colleague that I had written off has, upon closer reflection, good ideas and challenges that I was not aware of.

The transformation of a loving father who would morph into darkness and anger within hours based on the size of the Smirnoff bottle above the sink in our childhood home. Eighteen years from his passing, I see my hurt and shame shift. I hold closer the better times, the loved ones that supported me, and appreciate that it was an illness and not my failing. Shifting self-blame to love and acceptance is the most challenging metamorphism.

Gracious Lord, give us the patience to appreciate gradual and incremental shifts. While we want our loved ones healed, racial divisions turned to fellowship, or the hiring manager to call today, give us the strength to wait. Lord, as we wait, fill us with hope and open our eyes to our fellow neighbors in need so that we don’t miss and are ready for transformational changes in our lives. Amen.

Written by Ranjan Daniels, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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