Summary: This sermon helps us move beyond clinging to worldly things and helps us grasp eternal truth.
There are incidents in our lives that we do not want to move beyond. Your honeymoon is one such incident. The birth of a baby is a similar incident. Special vacations fall into this category. These and other occasions we make into Kodak moments. Judy and I made a trip to Alaska for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. We made a trip to China to visit our oldest son two years ago. We recently made a trip to Chicago to visit our youngest son. All of these are Kodak moments. It is human nature to want to capture special moments.
I want to show you an incident in the Bible when a man tried to capture a moment. He tried to make it a Kodak moment. The man was Simon Peter. The story is found in Luke 9:28-36. “Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. 30And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. 33Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. 35And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Peter wanted to make this incident into a Kodak moment. He wanted to capture the event for eternity. He did not want to move beyond it. He did not want to leave the mountain upon which they stood.
I know how Peter felt. Judy and I love the mountains. Every time we go to the mountains we do not want to come home. We would like to live in the mountains.
We have a tendency to romanticize life. Memories are always better as we reminisce than they were when we created them. Joe South wrote a song years ago that illustrates this concept.
Song: Don’t It Make You Wanna Go Home
Needless to say, we humans like to capture special moments. We enjoy Kodak moments. However, we need to move beyond Kodak moments. God has something bigger and better for us. Peter learned some valuable lessons about Kodak moments. I want to share these with you.
1. Human limitations cause us to cling to Kodak moments. In our text the disciples faced several limitations. They were sleepy (vs. 32). They were afraid (vs. 34). They were confused (vs. 35).
"Eternal life in the future tense is eternity in heaven with God. Eternal life in the present tense is knowing God personally now. Eternal life in the present breaks through limitations and experiences the best that life can offer. Many Christians miss that. We do our duty as believers, but no passion drives us; no power enables us. Sometimes our very busyness for God masks the emptiness we still experience. And we feel guilty for being Christian and having those feelings. "But when we encounter God as He is, our lives are irrevocably transformed. As we craft our lives to better know Him, we move from religion to relationship, from duty to passion, from frustration to power." (Tim Ritter, A Passionate Pursuit of God [InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL., 1999], 12)
(Contributed to Sermon Central by Bart Leger)
The concept of human limitations was seen as Jesus neared the cross. Just before Jesus went to the cross He spent a period of time praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. He carried some of His disciples with Him for that prayer time. As he arrived in the Garden He left the disciples at a certain spot while he went further and prayed alone. The Bible tells us that three times Jesus went back to check on the disciples. Each of those three times He found them asleep. Jesus analyzed that situation and said “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” In other words we want to but our human limitations keep us from reaching our full potential.
When I was sixteen the Lord called me to be a preacher. For five long years I hid behind my fears, my doubts, and my confusion. My limitations kept me from realizing God’s purpose for my life and from the fullness He had for me.