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  • Writer's pictureRev. Kim Taylor

Pastor's Ponderings: Meandering through Mark 9:2-8 bible study (April 9, 2024)

April 9, 2024:  Tuesday Morning Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark 9:2-8

Blessings and Peace be with you on this lovely Tuesday morning. Yesterday hundreds of thousands of people were able to witness the event of the total eclipse. We heard how emotional it all was, a very powerful and wonder-filled experience. (And I add: to see the wonder and fullness of the balance of God's creation. And yet, in this Easter season we might also ask, why is it, that with all of power of creation God has chosen to save us from our sin? The answer is pretty simple really, we are the treasure of all of God's creation. The eclipse was a powerful and awesome experience, but in all of its beauty and witness of how great God's love is for all He has made, we – you and I – are only a bit lower than the LORD'S angels!

Happy Easter my friends!

a collage of pics about the Transfiguration of Christ
Transfiguration of Christ from the Gospel of Mark

Today we move into a story we have heard before in the Gospels. It is Mark's version of the Transfiguration of Christ on the mountain. Peter, James, and John are with Jesus, and are apparently quite overwhelmed by the whole experience.  After all, they are seeing the greatest of prophets in the presence of Moses and Elijah speaking with Jesus.  Even today, at Passover in Jewish homes, a seat and place at the table remain with the hope that Elijah will attend their celebration to bring his blessing. So, this is a really big deal for James and John and Peter.  I understand this. If the prophet Jeremiah appeared in my home today, I would want to hold on to him to have an opportunity to get all of my questions answered about his life experience, both in its failures and its successes. What was it like to be guided by God's direction in such difficult times for the people of Judah who were taken into exile? The exact location of this Mount of Transfiguration is not very important, and there are certainly differences of opinion about which mountain was where it happened. We are given only minimal descriptions by the Gospel writers. Jesus' clothing and person became whiter than white. brighter than the sun. And He spoke quietly, privately with these former greats of the prophets called to bring hope to the people of Israel in times of difficulty. And, here on this mountain, like He had before, God came to talk to His People through the hiddenness of the clouds. But whether the disciples understood on the spot was not so important as the fact that God, in their presence, affirmed Jesus as His beloved Son. Here was something that the disciples could hang on to, especially when Jesus had just told them of His plan to go to Jerusalem where He would meet His death. In the Gospel of John, we are told that Christ is the Light who has shined in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it. Just as the moon moved in front of the brightness of the sun yesterday, ultimately, the darkness was overcome by the light of our solar system's sun, a light too bright that to look upon it would mean blindness.  Here on this Mount, Jesus is shone by God to outshine any darkness that might come upon His children, while Moses was the great giver of the law for God's children, and Elijah was the first and greatest of all of the prophets who were sent by God to His children.  Their attendance on Jesus was certainly an affirmation of Christ's choice to follow God's command and desire to guide Jesus' pathway of humble obedience. Christ freely chose to journey as God's Light and truth in the face of the darkness and sin that burden God's children, and to die so that God's children might once again be in a right relationship with God by the merit of His Son.

Just a reminder. Gospel Music Sunday is this coming Sunday, April 14th at 10AM, and will be followed by an Italian themed carry in meal.

In Christ's Love, Pastor Kim

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