After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. (Mark 9:2-8)
Human language is hardly adequate to describe what the disciples saw that day on the mountain. Their Master began to glow with an unearthly light and two long-deceased saints, representing the Law and the prophets appeared to converse with Him! How would you respond to this amazing occurrence? I’m afraid that Peter speaks for most of us as he stammered out his reply, “Let’s build three shelters; one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
No matter how often we are taught that the church is not a building but the people of God, we still find ourselves talking about a piece of real estate rather than how we, as believers, function as the Lord’s Church in this world. Understanding this about ourselves helps us identify with Peter’s response on the Mount of Transfiguration.
Peter’s all-too-human and very horizontal reaction to what he was experiencing was to build a building and stay there. His response was overshadowed by the Father speaking from heaven telling the disciples to listen to Jesus.
It was a call to go vertical. God wants His people not to get caught up in our horizontal ways, but to look to Jesus. Our faith is not about memorializing any event or physical structure, no matter how spectacular. It’s simply about loving and listening to the Son of God!
Thank You, Father, for pointing me to Jesus. Help me to love Jesus the way You love Him and to listen continually to Him. Forgive me when I fall back on those things around me that seem safe and familiar. I don’t want to get caught up in buildings and budgets. Instead Lord, I want to be overwhelmed by Your presence and caught up in Your grace.
–Adapted from Vertical with Jesus: A 30-Day Journey to Impact Kingdom Living by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God as the Creator who makes all things new (Rev. 21:5). Give thanks for his power to bring even the most deadened souls to life in Jesus— including your own (Eph. 2:1-5). Confess those times when you have lost faith in God’s power to renew and restore. Commit yourself to renewing your mind every day in prayer and in reading God’s Word. Ask God to teach you what it means that you are now God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works (2:10).
Pray that those who are outside of God’s family may be made new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.