I Went Hiking With Jesus and Oh, My….
Let’s go on a hike…
During Lent we are called to grow closer to God through fasting, almsgiving and prayer. Of course, there are many, many ways that we can pray, that we can commune with God. One of those ways is to read and pray the scriptures. The scriptures are God’s words, and you can’t go wrong speaking God’s words right back to him! One way that I find to be effective is to enter into the story, to really put yourself right in the heart of it. Here is my effort to do so with Sunday’s gospel about the Transfiguration. I loved this exercise and so enjoyed putting the scripture into modern language in a conversational style; almost like a blog. I would like to share my story with you, and I invite you to come along on this eventful hike with me now. Prepare to be awed as you walk along with me, sweet friend….
One day, Jesus invited a few of us on a hike. I was eager to go along because I was learning that you never knew what to expect form this man and I sure didn’t want to miss out on any of the fun. We walked and walked along a steep path up a mountain. It was warm and I was so grateful to be out in the sunshine. We had walked quite awhile when he stopped and faced us. And then, right before our very eyes, he began to glow as brightly as the sun! No kidding! I had never seen or even imagined anything like it! I was overcome with wonder and awe; he stood there in magnificence and we could not take our eyes off of him. And just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, Elijah and Moses appeared next to him and the three of them began to chat it up like old friends! I was speechless. I just stood there and stared, but Peter spoke right up, “Teacher, we are so grateful to be here with you. How about if we put together three shelters to protect you guys?” I guess Peter was thinking ahead and he always liked to be in charge of things, but to tell you the truth, I was really annoyed and secretly thinking, “Peter, just be quiet and be here in the moment! Open your eyes and shut your mouth!” Well, Jesus was shining bright as the sun so I was so grateful when a cloud formed over us and shadowed us. Now, I had never heard a cloud speak before, but of course, this one did! A voice came form the cloud and said, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” My jaw dropped and I fell to my knees. Was that the voice of God I just heard? Holy cow! Since I met this man I had seen and heard so many incredible things and now this! I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to hike back down the mountain and tell my family and friends. But then Jesus asked us to keep this to ourselves and tell no one until “the Son of Man had risen from the dead”. The Son of Man had risen from the dead? What in the world did that mean? Who was this Son of Man? And, come on, how could he rise up from the dead? We were beyond confused but we talked about it a lot amongst ourselves. One thing I knew for sure, I WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME.
How many times have you heard the story of the Transfiguration? Did it feel different this time? Could you imagine yourself witnessing and participating in the story? Witnessing and participating…. could this be a new way for you to experience the scriptures during Lent and beyond? Witness. Participate. Experience the Word of God in a new way.
Jesus, as we breathe, stretch and pray, place a desire in each of our hearts to know you more deeply through your story, your written word, so that we will never be the same.
LORD TEACH US TO PRAY YOUR SCRIPTURES WITH REVERENCE
LORD TEACH US TO PRAY THE SCRIPTURES SINCERELY
LORD TEACH US TO PRAY THE SCRIPTURES IN FAITH
LORD TEACH US TO PRAY YOUR WORD WITH PURITY OF HEART
LORD TEACH US TO PRAY THE SCRIPTURES ACCORDING TO YOUR WILL
LORD REMIND US TO PRAY THE SCRIPTURES IN YOUR NAME
LORD REMIND US TO PRAY THE SCRIPTURES WITH THANKFUL HEARTS
Jesus, be transfigured in each of us. As we take our practice off of our mats and out into the world, shine as brightly as the sun in, around, and through each of us so that the world will never be the same.