Reading: Matthew 17: 1-9 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I wonder how Jesus decided who to invite up to the mountain top to witness his Transfiguration. For some reason he asked Peter, James and his brother, John. Surely Jesus knew what was going to happen up there! First his face shown like the sun and his clothes became dazzling white. Then Moses and Elijah appeared and the three of them talked together. Last, a bright cloud overshadowed them and from the cloud came a voice saying, "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!" With that, Peter, James and his brother, John were flat out on the ground terrified. Not to mention just before that, Peter was ready to build a few shelters so they could all stay there for, oh maybe, forever?
Did Jesus shake his head and doubt his invitation list? Did he think, "Well, I thought that was going to go better." Did he give up on his followers; ditching them to find others when he got off that mountain? Ones who wouldn't come up with crazy ideas about setting up tents or collapse in shock when they saw God in action in a really big way?
Truth be told, we are all invited. God calls all of us to see and seek his will. Jesus wants all us to walk with him. The Spirit is in all our hearts working wonders. Sure, we may come up with some crazy ideas; some may work and some may not. There may be times when we feel flattened by life or flat out amazed by God. But we are all invited and, like Peter, James and John, we have a story to tell. That story may sound like an invitation, too. Who will you invite? --Ruth Gates