It’s great to be back at it with the daily devotions! Vacations and youth ministry trips are over, and it’s time to get back at the devotions…but first, a recap of my / our summer:
- Spent a week at The University of West Alabama (Livingston, AL) for a youth retreat called AFFIRM (hosted by the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA).
- Spent a week in Houston for the ELCA Youth Gathering with 31,000 other Lutherans.
- Spent a week at Orange Beach, AL, with LOTS of my side of the family.
- And if that’s not enough…we had a water leak damage our bathroom floor and hallway (on first floor) which we caught within 24 hours of the leak. So, we are in “drying out” phase and will be moving into renovation stage soon : )
So…all in all…not a whole lot of physical rest, but certainly a lot of highs over the summer.
I also turned 40 on July 10! My wife surprised me with the beginnings of a plan for going to Disney World with our immediate family. Plans are yet to be finalized, but we are excited to take steps to make this happen. Our kids love the idea, to say the least : )
And now, back to our regularly schedule program!
S (Scripture): Luke 8:28 [Jesus] took Peter, John, and James, and went up on a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes flashed white like lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, were talking with him. 31 They were clothed with heavenly splendor and spoke about Jesus’ departure, which he would achieve in Jerusalem. 32 Peter and those with him were almost overcome by sleep, but they managed to stay awake and saw his glory as well as the two men with him.
33 As the two men were about to leave Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it’s good that we’re here. We should construct three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—but he didn’t know what he was saying.
O (Observation): As I’m standing here with Jesus and I here about his pending departure, I want to just make it all stop! He can’t go! I won’t let him go!
This mountaintop. This here is what we need. We have Moses and Elijah and Jesus. We will keep them all here. We don’t need anything else. We will keep Jesus up here, safe and away from his “departure” (whatever that means).
This can work, right???
A (Application): Coming off of vacation, I get what it means to want to hold on to something beautiful. The picture above is from the area where we were on vacation in Orange Beach, AL.
This is always a mountaintop setting. And the beauty of the sand in the day and the stars at night are a wonderful beauty to behold.
Coming back means dealing with our water damage, working with contractors, getting our kids back into routines as school approaches, and getting back into the swing of things as pastor for my congregation.
The call of following Jesus is not about staying on the mountaintop, but experiencing the mountaintop moments, coming down, and then telling others about the experience. About how God’s story continues through us – from Moses (the Law) to Elijah (the Prophets) to Jesus (God’s Beloved) to us (also God’s Beloved).
Our naïveté will keep us on the mountaintop. Our call as disciples will call us back down the mountain in order to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others.
P (Prayer): Lord, thank you for a wonderful couple of weeks in discipleship formation and vacation. Amen.