Sunday, April 14, 2013
Mountain Top Experience
Matt. 17:4 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
Matt. 17:5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”
Matt. 17:6 When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear.
Matt. 17:7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.”
Jesus took the "inner circle" of his disciples with him to the Mount of Transfiguration. Here they experienced something that they had never experienced before -- the very presence of God. Peter was probably a little ADD -- and always had something to say before really thinking about the situation….but he is interrupted by the voice of God. In this moment Jesus -- the Messiah - is declared to be the Son of God. The disciples are instructed to listen to him. They are overcome with awe at the moment of being there and they fall to the ground. But Jesus touches them, encouraging them and tells them to not be afraid -- and so they come down from the mountain.
Last evening was one of those mountain top experiences here in Estes Park, Colorado. Maybe it seems that way because we are up here in the beautiful Rocky Mountains -- or maybe it's because the presence of God settled down upon us in such a powerful way. I don't think I've ever been to a service where the presence of God was so thick that no one wanted to move. We sat there in holy hushed silence soaking in the very presence of God. Every now and then a single voice would begin to lead us in a song of worship before our God. This went on for -- actually I don't even know how long -- time seemed to stand still in the kairos of God.
There is a sense of being strengthened and encouraged by having been in the very presence of Jesus but today we will go back down the mountain. It's been an incredible time and yet now Jesus is coming to us and saying "Get up and do not be afraid." Our mountaintop experiences strengthen and encourage us and prepare us for what God has in store. But after those experiences we must pack up our bags, head back down the mountain and go in the strength and grace of God.
I'm grateful for these mountaintop times -- but I will rise up and move forward and not be afraid -- for he is with me.
Lord, thank you for allowing us the privilege of being blessed by your holy presence. Amen.