CLOUDY AND SLEEPY
Lord, help me to be attentive to You and Your word.
Read Luke 9:28–36
28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure,[a] which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, 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 he was saying.)
34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
a Luke 9:31 Greek exodos
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectToday’s reading describes three men overwhelmed with tiredness despite the immense glory of God. Have you ever wondered why sleep and distraction are often the partners of prayer?
One of my favorite laugh-out-loud books is Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog). It tells of a hapless and pointless boat journey along the Thames one warm nineteenth-century summer. This passage swings between comedy and divinity.
Alone with Jesus on a mountain, the three disciples witness a sequence of eerie scenes. First, they watch as Jesus is physically transformed by dazzling light. And then into this bleached landscape appear two greats from Israel’s past: Moses and Elijah, the lawmaker and the prophet. Both are in deep conversation with Jesus about coming events in Jerusalem. To be precise, they are talking about Jesus’ imminent departure, or exodus if the word is literally translated. In his book, The Day the Revolution Began, Tom Wright argues that this little word is one of the keys to understanding God’s plan to rescue the world. Just as Moses led the slaves out of Egypt and into freedom, so Jesus’ death signals escape from the clutches of death and sin and into God’s renewed future.
Faced with audio and visual overload, the three disciples are overcome with torpor and Peter ends up saying something banal just to fill space. How do we react in the face of God’s mystery and power?
Lord, I offer You my heart, soul and mind.