Summary: The text relates the Transfiguration, the mountain top experience, to the glory "The Face" of Jesus the Pilot of our lives.
A ship .....was in a serious storm..... and in grave distress. The passengers were alarmed.
One of them finally, ..... against orders, .... went up to the deck and made his way to the pilot house.
The pilot was at the wheel, but, seeing the man was greatly frightened; ..... he gave him .....a reassuring smile.
Returning to the other passengers the man said. ..... "I have seen the face of the pilot, .... he smiled. ..... All is well."
"I have seen the face of the pilot, he smiled. All is well;" Can be the phrase on which the story of the transfiguration is based.
Jesus took Peter, James and John to the top of the mountain .... and there Jesus was changed,.... transfigured .... into a white glow ..... that could never be duplicated on earth.
And Along with this glow ....came two people out of history, .... Elijah and Moses.
The Three disciples did not know what to make of this situation.
But impulsive Peter said .....let us build three booths, ......three monuments to this great occasion.
Let us stay here and relish in the moment.
And then a voice said to them, "This is my beloved Son; ..... listen to him."
Just as they seemed not to be able to comprehend any more, everything was gone. (Pause)
Then Jesus told them to follow him down the mountain .... and not to tell anyone ..... of this experience.
Peter, James and John could have thought to themselves, ..... "We have seen the face of the pilot, .... he smiled. .... All is well.
"They saw the glory of God through Jesus, Moses and Elijah.
They had heard the voice of God as he spoke on that mountain.
They could have thought, ....we can face all the storms the world may send us. We are ready to lay battle with the world,
Yes...all is well. But did they?
Their first impulse was to stay on that mountain top ....with all its majesty and glory.
Their first impulse was stay where they were.
Their first impulse was to stay in this glory, to stay put, to not leave the mountain. (Pause)
I remember when Lee and I took a short cruise vacation to the Bahamas.
The last night as we were sailing back to Florida .... we went to the bow of the ship to be by ourselves.
The water was like a large mirror ... you could see the stars reflecting on the ocean.
The engines from the ship rumbled in the background of the night.
It was a moment together that I will never forget.
The scene on the bow of the ship, in the wonderful movie Titanic reminds me of that time together.
Then all of a sudden a storm blew in.
The wind started to blow, and lightening started to flash in the distant sky.
I was so enthralled by the beauty of the scene that I lingered.
I did not want to leave the majesty of the moment.
Then, in an instant, lightning flashed near the ship.
It was time to leave the mountain top but the memory holds firm. (Pause)
We all have had mountaintop experiences. Times when we have felt like we were on top of the world.
Perhaps you had a mountaintop experience when your children were born, ..... when you were married, .....when you received a special blessing from God.
Maybe your mountaintop experience occurred as you sat quietly in prayer .... Basking in the presence of God.
Maybe God has brought you to a mountain top where you felt God was so close .... that you could almost reach out and touch him; ......a time when you saw the face of the Pilot, ..... and all was well. (Pause)
When I think of a mountain top experience I cannot help but remember the Mountain Top that Martin Luther King described in his infamous sermon that he preached in April 1968 in the city of Memphis.
The sermon was entitled, "I see the Promised Land."
Dr. King said that he had peace. That he did not worry about anything ........ he had been to the mountaintop with God.
He had no fear of the world, "For my eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!"
The next day, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot to death.
But that night .... when he preached, ....He was ready to face his destiny.
He was ready to face the future ..... because He had seen the face of the Pilot ..... and all was well. (Pause)