Turning memories into new miles
As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” — Luke 9:33
Whether we’ve traveled far or just around the block from where we live, we have all enjoyed incredible sightseeing experiences. Peter may be one of the first in our biblical family who advocates a tourist gift shop at a famous (and truly fabulous) site, the mountaintop where he travels with Jesus and fellow disciples John and James. There the four pray. The three disciples fall asleep and Jesus transfigures. His face and clothes become dazzling white. When the three disciples awake, they overhear Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah.
Whoa! It doesn’t get more exciting than this, and Peter knows it. So here comes his gift shop idea, this suggestion to build shelters that will not only hold a memory, but also will keep Moses and Elijah, who were leaving, in place.
Peter’s intentions are honorable. Ours can be, too. Instead of enjoying great experiences with God and moving on with them, however, we try to recreate or relive what happened. We hold to the glory that has passed rather than long for the glory that is to come.
This has real implications. Instead of following the moving Spirit of God, we can search for a formula to try to get back the glory of how things were from an era that won’t come back. We may long for a church’s “good ol’ days” so much that we miss where the Spirit is leading today.
With Jesus, the disciples come down from the mountain. They do not remain stationary. Those who experience Jesus as God’s beloved Son today cannot stay still either.
There are lessons here. Senior church members and those behind them can and should grieve memories from the past. Intergenerationally, we can also remember Peter and hear our forever moving Jesus invite him, and, in turn, all of us, to momentum not motionlessness.
PRAYER: Jesus, help me turn memories into new miles. Help me see my time with You yesterday brings new opportunities for myself and others to be with You today. Amen.