Transfiguration of Our Lord, Year B

Inspired by Mark 9:2-9 

“Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’” Mark 9:5-7 (NRSV) 

When Peter, James, and John followed Jesus up that mountain, they had no idea that they would find themselves in the very presence of the embodiment of the Law, the Prophets, and God himself. They all reacted quite rationally: they were terrified. But Peter tried to overcome his terror, and take control of the situation. In the presence of the Law, the Prophets, and God himself, Peter passed his own judgment on what was taking place (it is good for us to be here) and proposed a course of action (let us make three dwellings).

God invites us to witness many amazing things, but that does not mean that we must always be in control of the situation we’re witnessing. As much as we strive to be active workers for the kingdom, to do all the good and right things that God calls us to do, sometimes God just calls us to be. Peter wasn’t called to that mountain so he could evaluate the situation, and he certainly wasn’t called to build tents. Peter, James, and John were there to stand witness, notice what they saw, remember it, and, at the appropriate time, tell others what they’d witnessed, letting their experience inform their understanding.

As you go about your daily life, rather than trying to influence every encounter, just notice what is going on. God works in many and various ways, and some of those ways don’t require your direct involvement. Observe how God is working around you, in and with other people, and through certain events. Perhaps you will find that you are the one being influenced, because when you’re not speaking your own mind you might be able to hear the words of the Lord saying to you, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”

Let us pray. Holy Lord, your ways are many and mysterious. Help us to be mindful of your work through others, that we may continue to be molded and shaped by your bountiful grace. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.