I wonder what it would have been like for the three apostles, Peter, James, & John, as they encountered the transfiguration of Christ (Mark 9.2-10). Jesus, whom they had been with for a couple of years, whom they had walked and talked with as they would any friend, and now He is transformed into His heavenly appearance. They catch a glimpse of His divinity. A foreshadowing of what is to come. It really floored them, and actually terrified them. They didn’t know what to do or say. They were blessed to receive this amazing experience, this awe-inspiring moment, and what did they say, “It is good for us to be here, let us stay here like this for a while.” I could really relate to this, and I’m sure many of you here may have had similar moments, where God has granted you a moment of joy in prayer, satisfaction or reassurance in your friendship with Him, or just a sense of peace and comfort in His love for you. It wouldn’t have mattered where you were, necessarily, because you were transported, if for only a moment, to this mountaintop. It is good to be in these moments, and God gives these to us as a foretaste of what He has in store for us, eternally.
As we see the apostles in today’s Gospel encounter this foretaste of God’s heavenly kingdom we are also reminded that these moments do not last forever, at least not here on earth. This reminder that we must come down from the mountain leaves us with the reality of going back to our struggles within family life and within ourselves in our daily routines. God doesn’t leave us to our own devices though. And this is very important to remember. God doesn’t speak in scripture, in the New Testament, very often so what He speaks to us from the cloud must be quite important; “This is my Son. Listen to Him.” “This is my Son.” In our struggles; “This is my Son.” In our daily tasks and routines; “This is my Son.” In our doubts and our fears, “This is my Son.” When we are seeking answers, “This is my Son.” God has sent His Son as THE answer. He hasn’t sent us some philosophy, or any other intangible thing, but a person; His Son.
We see in the readings today the blessing we receive when we trust in God (Genesis 22.1-2, 9-13, 15-18), as the answer to life’s questions, that He does not hold anything back from us when we choose Him (Romans 8.31-35, 37).
Jesus Christ is His answer.
But is HE YOUR answer?
Yes, we’re all here at church so that says something, but is He truly your answer? Our lives should look different if He is our answer. He doesn’t want to merely be an interruption in our schedule on Sundays.
Let’s seriously ask ourselves today; “Is Jesus my answer?” Beyond our words, beyond our actions, do you believe with the depths of your soul that He is your answer. If you don’t know for sure ask Him! He has shown Himself to us today in the Gospel, that He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to settle for anything less than the fullness of His friendship. The good feelings will pass, but when they pass, how will you answer? We have the opportunity to receive Him today, to say with our words, and our action of receiving him, “Amen. I believe you are my answer to life, live in me.” He comes down in vulnerability and humility, where Heaven meets earth, in the form of a small piece of bread, in His flesh given for us.
The truth is, it isn’t easy! We are actually promised crosses in this life, but we are also promised resurrection. In our friendship with Jesus, if we are willing to affirm that He is our answer, He leads us down from the high mountains and walks with us to Calvary, where He teaches us to love HIM, not just His gifts (the good feelings), to give of ourselves, and to store up our treasure in heaven.
Let us take with us today God’s life-changing invitation to us: “This is my Son. Listen to Him.”