Jesus takes with him Peter, John, and James to go up on a mountain to pray.
As Jesus is praying the appearance of his face changes and his clothes become dazzling white and Moses and Elijah appear before them.
At that time the Jewish people believed that Moses and Elijah never actually died.
And suddenly on the mountain these two great heroes of the Old Testament appear before them!
Moses the great leader who led the Israelites out of slavery to the Promised Land and the one who handed the people the law.
And Elijah the great prophet who taught the people that they must repent and turn towards God.
These two heroes of the faith appear and speak to Jesus about Jesus departure in Jerusalem.
Jesus will give his life away on the cross.
Jesus will be crucified outside of Jerusalem at a place called Golgotha. There Jesus gives his life for us.
As I was studying this text this past week one part of the text that really stood out for me is verse 32:
Verse thirty-two reads:
Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory (meaning Jesus’ glory) and the two men who stood with him.
Did you notice why they were able to see everything that is taking place on this mountain?
It says even though they were weighed down with sleep they stayed awake.
They stayed awake and they saw Jesus in all of his glory!
Today are we awake?
Sometimes the heaviness of life and the struggles of life can make us sleepy.
Sometimes the busyness of life can overwhelm us to such a degree that we become sleepy to the ways of God.
Because this is indeed our human nature to become sleepy and to fall asleep and thus miss encounters with God then Lent can be a very helpful time for us to renew our faith lives.
Each and every year I find Lent to be a time in the church year where I find renewal in my faith.
Through the years Lent has helped me to stay awake in my faith and Lent has helped me to stay strong in my faith and in my walk with the Lord.
Lent can be a gift for us to awaken our faith in new and exciting ways.
If Peter, James, and John were asleep on the mountain they would have missed this amazing encounter with God.
For us too we miss encounters with God if we are asleep.
May we be awake this coming Lenten season in order to see Jesus and to hear his voice.
May we become more sensitive to the activity of the Spirit.
When our Lord speaks we will listen this Lenten season.
As we journey together this Lenten season you might find it beneficial to take on one or two spiritual practices.
These spiritual practices might help you to wake up more fully to the presence of God in your life.
God is always here. God is always with us.
Let’s be awake so that we might encounter God in deeper ways this coming Lenten season.
Last Sunday I spoke about the practice of forgiveness.
Maybe the Holy Spirit is really moving in you in such a way that you want to continue working with the practice of forgiveness during Lent.
Or maybe you would like to explore fasting. In my own life I have discovered the power of fasting when it is accompanied with prayer and humility.
Or maybe you would like to try journaling during Lent. Each day during Lent you write and reflect on your life with God.
Or maybe you want to look for opportunities during Lent to show grace and kindness to people.
Maybe God is calling you during Lent to share a word of grace to someone who needs to hear and to receive grace.
As I told you last week of the story of my encounter with a stranger at the grocery story.
Her seemingly small act of grace towards me was what I needed in the moment and it meant so much to me.
Could you look for opportunities to show grace and to send silent prayers of love towards others maybe even strangers?
Or maybe you could take this suggestion.
Several years ago someone spoke to me right before Lent that her Lenten disciple for that year was to attend all of the Wednesday evening Lenten services.
This was a big commitment for this person.
Because of her busy schedule she had a hard time making it to the Wednesday services so it was a great sacrifice to make all of them.
It was a step of faith for her as all spiritual practices are.
When we step out in faith with trust in God we awaken our souls so that we might be awake when the Lord calls.
Please do not be asleep when the Lord calls!
Whatever you decide to do, offer your practice up to God with humility and with the faith that the practice that you do will indeed help you to grow closer to God.
This past week I prayed that you might be renewed, refreshed, and energized in your walk with Jesus this coming Lent.
I will be praying for us this Lenten season that God might help us to stay awake so that we might see Jesus.
May God bless our Lenten season.
May we encounter our Lord again and again and in the end of our Lenten journey may we, with new eyes, behold our risen, shining, and glorious Lord.