Bishop Tom Wright ends today’s Lent thoughts with the words “if we discovered a faith with nothing unexpected or incomprehensible, nothing to shake us from our cosy normal existence and assumptions, we could be fairly sure that it wasn’t the real thing.”
The story of the Transfiguration in Mark 9:2-13 shows us that God is bigger than us! God, the ultimate creator, operates in a different dynamic to us the created.
As soon as Jesus, Peter, James and John came down from the mountain it was back to business! A man had brought his son who was possessed by a spirit that had robbed him of his speech. Jesus challenged the boy’s father about his faith, cast out the spirit and went on to teach his disciples.
I believe that the way these two events happened has some significance. The great high of the mountain top – a real God-moment, never before experienced, something so amazing and mind-blowing, the voice of God himself speaking from within the cloud, a defining moment in history – straight into arguing, the changing of a family’s life, challenging about faith, healing and teaching.
The God-moments, the mountain top experiences, need to be grounded in the reality of what we are purposed to do. Christian faith isn’t just about the yearly summer festival’s, the amazing experience of church on a Sunday morning, the big name speakers who bring us a defining moment in our history – it is also about the family that are hurting, those who are sick and in need of healing, those who need a challenge in God’s direction, those battered by life and circumstance, those for whom God calls us to…
The real thing is when heaven impacts earth, when love changes the unloved, when hope affects the hope-less, when God is allowed to be God in and through us.
Enjoy your mountain-top experience but don’t let it detach you from the reality of life, here and now, of those around you. Let faith shake you from your cosy normal existence and assumptions, move into God’s dynamic of Kingdom, everything is possible for one who believes – that’s the real thing!