The Past, Present, and Future

This Sunday marks the end of the Season after the Epiphany. It’s sort of a hinge day between seasons marked by an encounter on a holy mountain where God may be found. The mountain was a place of sacred mystery, where shining and shadow conveyed a holy presence. It was a place of community across time, where God’s people of past and present met. It is a place of silence and witness, where visions were kept quiet and God says of Jesus, “Listen to him.”

Like Peter, we tend to cling to both the past and to the present, conveniently ignoring the future. When an occasion presents itself from the good old days, we want to build a monument and stay there, tending it; again like Peter. Unfortunately, when we do that we can’t see the new thing God is doing in and through Jesus, and we won’t until we join him in leaving the past – Moses and Elijah in the Prophets Hall of Fame – and go down the mountain into God’s uncertain future. Like Peter, we think we are caretakers of something that happened in the past, rather than eyewitnesses to what God is going to do tomorrow, the next day, and the next.

Yet… God doesn’t give up on us! God keeps nudging and encouraging with God’s loving presence. C. S. Lewis, wrote “We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with God. God walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labor is to remember, to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake.“

Holy God, you encounter us in places where we seek you, and in places where we flee from you. Ease our fears. Open our ears and eyes to you, wherever and in whomever you reveal yourself to us. Prepare us to journey as you call. Amen.

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