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Rabbi, it is good for us to be here!

Notes & Transcripts

Lord, I pray that only truth is spoken and only truth heard - Amen

I don’t know about you but I am strangely attracted to ‘make over shows’

            And there are so many to chose from

                        TLC or ‘Home and Garden’ seem to be networks devoted to that TV genre

                                    Shows like ‘while you were out’

                                    Or ‘trading spaces’

                                    Or ‘what not to wear’

                                    Or ‘flip this house’

Are very popular and some weekends they even having ‘marathon days’ where there are numerous back to back episodes

                                                            We have our share of ‘Canadian content’ as well

                                                                        From ‘Holmes on homes’

                                                                        To ‘Diva on a dime’

If you have never seen any of these TV shows they are Home improvement or personal appearance improvement

            Often times they involve friends or family who get in on the action to help

or to surprise someone that they care about by outing them on national TV                                     about some aspect that they don’t love about their appearance or their choices in home décor

                                    and the show is focused upon experts and a camera crew coming                                                                for a short time to help in whatever area is lacking

            My favourite with-out a doubt is “Extreme Make-over - Home edition’

                        And we even let the kids stay up pass their bed times to watch it

All of these shows have caught my attention many times

            So… I have wondered what it is that makes them so appealing

                        Why are they relevant to so many people?

Part of it, I believe, is that they tap into the ‘North American Dream’

            The dream of making something out life

                        With hard work and the right knowledge and attitude - anything is possible

If you were to boil that down a little further I think that what we are really            talking about is: “Hope”

                        Belief in a better thing - better way of life in the future

                                    …That is certainly one aspect

Another part of it is that in most of them are on a budget and generally not too large a budget

            The projects are attainable

We can easily see ourselves making something better with not too much invested maybe a little knowledge, time and elbow grease

                                    And we too can do it

Still another reason that they are popular is that they show a lot of ideas

            The home improvement versions walk you through what they are doing

                        And the personal appearance ones show you a lot of straight forward practical tips

                                    We can get in on the action and we can often learn a great deal

                                                Or at least get the feeling that ‘we too’ can do it

A popular home improvement store that sponsors a few of these shows has based their very motto on this value

                                                                        “you can do it, we can help”

There is still one reason that I believe tops them all

            One reason that is the greatest attraction above all of these rational explanations

                        It is the same reason why many of us like to cheer for the underdog

           

            That reason is “transformation”…

                        In all of these shows ‘something’ or ‘place’ or ‘person’ is transformed

                                    This is extremely emotionally binding factor

                                                It captures:      Hopes  -  Fears              -  Ideals

                                                                        - lost or hidden or suppressed desires 

                                                                        - in many cases a hearts longing

Transformation or Transfiguration - is what our Gospel passage from Luke is all about

            The passage is Luke declaring who Jesus really is

This moment is a crucial moment for the disciples and for us today to be shown by God just who Jesus is

Two weeks ago I said that miracles, although I am sure important to the individual and their family, are more important for what they reveal about God to us

And Jesus is transfigured before them

                                    With Cloths so white that no one on earth could bleach them

And Jesus is transfigured to transform Him from Rabbi (teacher)

to the Son of God

                                                            Clearly to show His divinity

 

 

“two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem”

            Moses – representing the writer of the Pentateuch - the Law

                        And Elijah - the greatest prophet

                                    “Talking” - talking to show that they are physically there

            The Law and Prophets represented and yet after God spoke from the cloud

                        That “This is my Son, the beloved, listen to Him!”

                                    ‘Only Jesus’ remained

                                                Something for ‘supersessionists’ to think about

                                    Only Jesus - that message: is very challenging for our worldly views today

And how must our hearts be drawn to the words of God from the cloud

            “This is my Son, the beloved, listen to Him!”

“This is my Son, the beloved…” draws us right back to the beginning of Jesus’ adult ministry and His Baptism in the river Jordan         

                                    “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

So… what does all this have to do with me, and you…

            Consider these details

                        “Jesus took with him, Peter and James and John and led them up a high                                         mountain apart by themselves

                                    and

                        “appeared to them

                                    and most importantly

                        “Then Peter said to Jesus, Rabbi, it is good for us to be here

                                    “took them”

appeared to them

                                    “it is good for us to be here”

We have Jesus, God in the flesh, Emanuel - God amongst us

            Bringing… leading… revealing… … To Us

Making sure we understand exactly - who he is … to us… for us … in our presence

            We are part of God’s plan - brought along for the ride

I have often wondered, since the original Greek would not have had punctuation and since most versions that you will read keep punctuation out of it - whether Peter was asking a question –

“Rabbi, it is good for us to be here?

                        But I believe that it is more profound to leave it as a statement

                                    “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here!

I think that whole passage actually hinges on Peter’s words told as a statement

            It is without a doubt about Jesus being transfigured

                        Present with Moses - the Law, and Elijah - the prophets

God’s cloud, and ‘words of affirmation’, and command to ‘listen to Jesus’

And only Jesus remaining

But I think our life rests more on the fact that:  God values us and wants us part of His plans

                                    “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here!

Scripture, in the classic Christian understanding, is written by human hands but God breathed – God inspired

And in this moment Peter is speaking God’s words and declaring for all humanity - over all time – drawing us to the beginning of time when “God made it and said ‘it is good’”

and as we are a big part of God’s created order

“it is good for us to be here”

Jesus is the Christ and He was transfigured for a purpose and the purpose is us – to transform us

Transformation is one reason that I like ‘Extreme makeover - home edition’ the best

As they always take some family that has suffered great hardships and there is a great transformation

                        And there is a real community effort to work to completely transform their homes

And at the unveiling - there are often thousands from the community present to see the impact on the well-deserving family

And also because of another reason:

            I think of it a parallel to God’s Abundant Love

                        In this show there is no slim budget - they completely overhaul everything

From the structure to all the decorating and furnishing, to installing any necessary special needs: like an elevator in the house for a member that is in a wheelchair or special ventilation for someone that has breathing challenges

            It is truly extreme and I see and it as a wonderful illustration to God’s Abundant Love

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life”

                                    Transformation in a grand scale – God’s abundant Love

Today as we look to the solid proof that Luke and all the other Gospel writers provide of who Jesus the Christ really is

            As we look to the transfiguration

We are to look to the wholeness of Scripture knowing that it is God, the Holy Spirit inspiring the each writer

Know as St. Paul often writes that we are be “In Christ”

                                                We are to be transformed from ‘one thing’ to “a life in Christ”       

                                                            Jesus is Transfigured to transform us

                                                                        From Glory to Glory

                                                                        Because - “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here!                                                                                                                    Amen

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