Yesterday was Transfiguration Sunday. The text was from Matthew 17, where Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up on a mountain. Once there, Jesus started to shine. Moses and Elijah showed up and talked with Jesus. And, as Peter wrote later, there was a voice from “the Majestic Glory”.
It was a big moment. Peter and James and John ended up face down on the ground, terrified. The Jesus they thought they knew turned out to be much more. The last words they heard from “the Majestic Glory”–after “This is my son, that I love and am proud of”– was a simple command: “Listen to him”.
So what happened after that? Jesus touched them on the shoulder and said, “Get up. Don’t be afraid.” All the glory was gone, the shining, the voices, the other two heroes. But the memory of them wasn’t gone. For the rest of his life, Peter remembered that moment.
The ordinary words, “get up, don’t be afraid”, were backed by the authority of the universe.
I’m guessing (no, I know) that a couple of the people reading this (and me) need to remember when we hear “Get up, don’t be afraid”, that it’s not a platitude. It’s a word full of power and opportunity.
May we know that power his week.
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Shhh. Giving a Life Meaning: How to Lead Funerals, Memorial Services, and Celebrations of Life isn’t coming out on Kindle until Friday. But it went live in paperback over the weekend. It’s not for everyone. But it is for you if you lead funerals.