Exodus 34:29-35, & Luke 9:28-36
What is this? It's a box of Ready brek. Will anybody here admit to liking Ready brek? Does anybody remember the Ready brek ads on the telly?
In those ads, what happens to the boys and girls when they eat Ready brek? They start glowing with this wierd orange glow, like a lightbulb has been switched on inside them.
Now how would you feel if one morning you ate some Ready brek and you actually starting glowing? How do you think that the rest of your family would react? I think that I’d be pretty freaked out, I’d probably call the doctor.
So, you can imagine how freaked out the people in the bits of the Bible that we’ve just heard read were when people started glowing.
God’s people, the Israelites, were camped in the desert between Egypt and Palestine, at the bottom of a mountain. Moses, whom God had sent to rescue them from slavery in Egypt, had disappeared up the mountain. They had seen thunder and lightening and all sorts, and now Moses reappears, carrying two big bits of stone and he’s glowing. They are completely freaked out and run away. He didn’t know why, he didn’t have a mirror with him on the mountain, and didn’t know that his face has glowing.
But eventually they sort out what is going on. Moses face wasn’t glowing because he’d had Ready brek for breakfast, it was because he had been close to God, speaking with God.
Several hundred years later, we’re on another mountain, God’s around again, and there’s more glowing people and more freaked out people. Jesus, God’s son, is living on earth and has gathered a group of people round him to be witnesses to what he does and to learn from him. He takes three of them up this mountain, and as he’s talking with God he starts to glow. His followers don’t know what to make of this, they don’t know what they’re saying and they don’t tell anyone what they’d seen. Who would believe them anyway?
Now, Ready brek doesn’t really make people glow, but it does give them energy and vitamins and good things that they need to live strong, healthy lives. And, I have to say that I have never seen anybody actually physically glowing because they’ve been so close to God. But, I have met people who almost seem to glow with strength, truth, goodness, and courage. People who have spent a lot of time with God, talking with God, and now reflect the way that God is to the people around them.
When I was thinking about this, I got on a bit of a roll and came up with a couple of other things that Ready brek does that might help us to think about what happens when we spend time with God. And which are really important for us to understand as we all make promises as n is baptised.
Ready brek helps our bodies to grow. Without good food, our bones, muscles, brains won’t develop in a healthy way. In the same way, spending time with God helps our spirits to grow. The good food that is found in getting to know the story of the people of God, found in the Bible, is really important for healthy growth.
Ready brek gives people energy to go out and do the things that they want to do. One of the dangers of church life is that we can get so busy doing stuff, running round being busy that we run out of energy. Spending time with God, on our own or with others, gives us the energy we need to go and do the things that God is telling us to do and to be the kind of people that God wants us to be. To stand up against evil, to protect, to swim against the tide, to love when others don't or can't or won't, to go and do the difficult things that Jesus and his disciples did.
So, just as we look after n as he grows physically, making sure that he has good things to eat that will help him be healthy, so at his baptism we all promise to encourage him to spend time with God, so that he can, with us and all God’s people, glow with Jesus’ light, grow in the knowledge of God, and go to share the Good News of Jesus.