Summary: We stand as onlookers with Peter, James and John and see a very special experience - a mysterious experience and hear God say: "This is my Son, my Chosen, listen to him"
Listen to Him
Today we stand as onlookers with Peter, James and John and see a very special experience - a mysterious experience.
His countenance, and even the robe Jesus is wearing, begins to glow until it is a dazzling white and with him we see two men - Moses the law-giver, and Elijah the prophet - talking with him.
The 3 disciples are full of fright, full of awe, full of joy at what they see.
A heavy cloud sweeps over the mountain, obscuring their view and in this cloud - in the midst of this roiling obscurity, this damp and forbidding darkness.
Peter, James and John hear a voice; a voice as clear as the light that had just moments before filled the mountain top; a voice as awesome as the thunder that shook mount Sinai when Moses went to receive the Torah: "This is my Son, my Chosen, listen to him"
And then the moment is over. The cloud vanishes. The sun shines. The birds sing. Jesus stands alone - near to them.
But the experience that they witnessed, the experience that they were part of, remained with them, until eventually it was recorded in three of the four gospels.
It remained with them - and it shaped them - and it became part of them, part of their testimony -part of their witness as to who Jesus was - the Christ.
Peter even describes the incident in his 2nd letter. ‘For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory saying, "This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased."
As we come into the holy season of Lent, we would do well to be attentive to this vision, to this experience, Jesus is the Son of God - the chosen one - the one whom we are commanded to listen to.
Jesus the Chosen One - the one who is able to carry us into the presence of God - the one who gives us peace - the one who gives us joy - the one who gives us victory over sin and death.
Sometimes we forget this. Sometimes we fall into our daily routines without a thought about the divinity that surrounds us, without any real awareness of the power that surrounds us and holds us up.
We have business to do, we have people to see and in the hussel bustle of life - in our hurry - in our work we loose track of where we are going; we loose track of whose we are and what has been promised.
I’m sure everyone here takes time to talk to God - everyone here prays to God on a regular basis, - that everyone here asks God for his help - if not for yourselves - then for others.
That is good. But how many of us here actually listen to God?
How many of us here in our time of prayer stop talking, - stop reading, - stop thinking about what concerns us and simply listen,
- listen to the point where you can hear your pulse beating in your ears and feel the air moving steadily and strongly in and out of your lungs.
- How many of us wait upon the Lord until he answers - until he speaks - until he graces us with a dream or a vision - or a set of words - or an experience wherein his will is revealed to us.
- How many of us go apart for a while as Jesus and his disciples did - and listen to the wind and the rain - and gaze upon the moon and the stars - and enter into the silence that lies within these things - the silence where the words of Christ are not only remembered - but rise fresh and new?
This is my Son, my chosen one, listen to him... Listen to him - listen to what he said to his disciples the night he was betrayed - "The advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."
Listen, listen to the one whose face not only shone - but his entire being, for in listening we ourselves will be transformed, and God's perfect light will cast out the darkness of sin and death.
Blessed be the God of Moses and Elijah, and Blessed be the name of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.