Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekly Meditation - Transfiguration

Greetings in the Name of Christ Jesus, our Lord!

The epistle reading for Transfiguration is 2 Peter 1:16-21, and this morning let's ponder verse 19a, which reads, "And we have something more sure; the prophetic word."

Peter had just been recounting his own experiences at the Transfiguration.  He was there - he saw Christ transfigured, he heard the voice of God echo from the clouds.  And you and I - we weren't there.  We have not (yet) see Christ shining forth in glory, we have not (yet) heard with our own ears the voice of the Father.  So then, does Peter get to hold this over our head?  Does Peter point to his experiences and talk about how much better he is than us because of them?

No.  And **WE** have something more sure.  No, even with his mountaintop experience, Peter stays with us, remains with us - and we, Peter and you and I, have something even more wondrous that seeing the transfiguration in person.  We have the prophetic Word, the Holy Scriptures.  And I would have you ponder this - Peter values the Scriptures more than he values his own personal experience.

So often today, even in the Church, we will get all this experiential language, all this encounter language.  Exciting programs will even be called "mountain top experiences" to echo the transfiguration.  I think we would do well to listen to Peter - because he is right.  Our faith is never going to be built or remain steady because of encounters or experiences -- but the Word of God, the Spirit breathed Word of God which points to Christ - that is how the Holy Spirit works and gives and builds faith.  As we confess in the Small Catechism, "I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him, but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel..."  It's not my own reason, or strength, or even my own experiences.  Rather, it is the Holy Spirit who builds faith, and this He does working through the Word.

This week - don't bother looking for some sort of mystical encounter.  Don't' judge your faith on the basis of what you experience - I hope you have a good week, but it could be lousy.  That doesn't change the fact that Christ Jesus has died for you and that you are forgiven.  Rather, above all, be in His Word, cling to the love and mercy that He has declared for you, for that is something more sure than anything we face in this life.

Have a blessed week.

No comments: