Prayer: Father, may we have open ears to hear you, open eyes to see you, and an open mind to be reminded that you love us all! Amen.
Reading: Luke 9:28-43 (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: Have you ever gone to a baseball game or soccer match, and you sit down in the stands, but then somebody who is taller than you comes and sits right in front of you? What do you do? Well, you probably either move a bit so you can see around; or you change seats altogether. A lot of times, changing your place helps you see better.
That’s the way it is with learning about God too. Changing your place can help you to see and hear a little bit better. When we’re in a different place, we often are able to hear the teaching of Jesus in a fresh way.
It is what happened to the disciples when they went with Jesus and experienced his transfiguration. They were in a different place and had a mountaintop experience. They saw Jesus in a new way and I bet they told others about what they saw when they came down from that mountain.
This Sunday all across the Upper Susquehanna Synod, we celebrate Mount Luther Sunday. It’s a designated day to uplift outdoor ministries in our region. We chose Transfiguration Sunday because the story of how Peter, James, and John went up a mountain with Jesus and saw him in new light is very similar to how our campers come and have a mountaintop experience at camp. They see and hear Jesus in new ways. And, we hope they will go back home and tell others about it.
I love this story because I think it is another instance of a Biblical outdoor ministry story. Jesus even had a cabinmate request in this story! He took his three friends to camp with them. His friends even wanted to build tents so they could camp out. But most importantly, they were changed because they saw Jesus in new ways in a new location.
That’s what Mount Luther is all about. We’re here to teach the message of God’s love for us, in a place set apart by God. Jesus speaks to us in this place. His message is still fresh, and our campers will hear it in new ways because we’ve come to our place. May they have open ears to hear it, open eyes to see it, and an open mind to be reminded that God loves us all! --Chad Hershberger
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