Friday, February 17, 2012

Live the Mountaintop in the Valley

Almighty God, on the holy mount you revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured: mercifully deliver us from the darkness of this world, and change us into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
             - Collect, BAS Last Sunday After Epiphany
From time to time I tend to look at and consider the collects and what they have to tell us about the Gospel and God. For example, when I look at this week's collect I am only two words in and I have to stop already. Why? Because I have to stop and consider just how powerful God really is. I like to think that I am strong physically and mentally; even powerful. But then human strength and that strength isn't even as strong as God's weaknesses. God weakness is stronger than the greatest strength we can put forth. Imagine that. There is someone strong than us.

That same strength - not just raw power but power under control for that is what strength is - is housed in the person of Jesus Christ. And God has revealed this to us through Jesus. The strength to deliver us and to complete the mission of salvation and recreation is found in the person of Jesus. It has all been planned. It has all been declared and Moses and Elijah are there to help witness it. Jesus is here to transfer us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. He has come that we might be transformed into the people that God has created us to be and we are called to follow him through the think and the tin, even back down into the valley of the shadow of death. And we are to do it because we need to live what we see and hear on that mountain top back down in the valley for the sake of those who were not there.

We are to live in such a way that we will draw others into the procession of the exodus that Jesus has begun and leads us in. We are to draw others into the great and swelling train of followers who are moving into the kingdom and the eternity that God has prepared for those who will come to him. We are to be merciful people, like Jesus, who are willing to stand between people and their disasters, call to them with hands out stretched to use all the strength in us and in God to draw them in. As we are reminded by the prophet, "it is not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit," says the Lord.

And all this comes from and through Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Spirit are one God and live eternity. So let us witness to the power of God's grace, mercy and love and actively witness to his kingdom that others might come in. So let us live the mountaintop down in our valleys and let us go immediately.

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