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No Lingering

I love holidays abroad and never want them to end.  I return with various souvenirs.  Yet, however much I try, I can’t preserve those experiences; even the wine doesn’t taste the same once home!  Likewise with worship: special encounters with God can’t be replicated or prolonged.

When three disciples witness the Transfiguration, we read in Luke 9:33, ‘As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here …’   Peter wants to capture the breathtaking moment.  Impulsively he proposes to build shelters for Jesus, Moses and Elijah: tents made of branches like those erected for the Feast of Tabernacles (Harvest).  Here were three important guys and Peter wanted to provide hospitable shelter; or even to enshrine this fleeting vision (as Moses did with the Tent of Meeting – Exodus 33).  Peter was sincere, but wrong.  Why?  Well, Jesus couldn’t stay on the mountaintop.  He had to make His way down to Jerusalem.  In fact, the true glory of that moment could only be understood in the light of his imminent and sacrificial death upon the Cross.  God’s glory brings movement and change.

On life’s journey, we pass through mountaintop experiences; the routine of the plains; and sometimes the road will take us to valley depths.  We can’t stay on a ‘high’, but must descend.

Maybe today you should let Jesus go with you through the difficult places?  It’s there that His love and glory will shine more brightly, and lives will be significantly transformed.

Prayer: Wherever the road takes me, Lord, may my special encounters with you sustain me, and remind me of your faithful promises.   Amen.

Copyright Rev. Anthony D. Miles August 2005

Tony is a Superintendent Methodist Minister, broadcaster and author. He is a radio presenter with Premier Christian Radio and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2's Pause for Thought (5.45 am). Tony is married with two children and four grandchildren.

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