Last Sunday after the Epiphany, March 2, 2014
Coming down the mountain
One minute, Peter, James, and John were standing with the transfigured Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, hearing the voice of God. Then they looked around; it was just them and JesusÑthe non-dazzling Jesus with whom they walked every day. So down they went to where life with all its problems and challenges awaited–for Jesus, down the mountain on his way to the cross.
Even though they were to tell no one, what a life changer this must have been! How much easier it must have been going down the mountain–knowing the glory and power of the Christ who walked with them! How empowering this must have been! It didn’t mean that they would never be frightened again or flounder in their faith. But they did have this experience to hold on toÑto give them strength to face the coming days.
Every once in a while, life hands us those uplifting, inspiring, life-changing moments–those times when we can see things clearly and truly experience God’s presence. Then reality sets in. Like the disciples, we need to walk back down the mountain.
Mountaintop experiences don’t change the circumstances of our life, but they do change us. God provides these encounters so that we can endure the world below. Knowing the glory and power of our God makes a difference. Knowing Jesus is present with us helps us deal with sickness, family crises, financial crisesÑwhatever may come our way. Jesus can replace our fear and despair with hope, and ready us to go out into the world. When all else fades, we still have Jesus, at the top or bottom of the mountain and everywhere in between.
Pat Honszer, pastor, First Moravian Church, Easton, Pennsylvania