Monday, February 1, 2016

Looking Ahead to February 7, 2016 -- Transfiguration Sunday

The Scripture reading this week is Mark 8:27-9:9

The Sermon title is The Path to Glory

Early Thoughts: Where does glory lie? That is a question this passage raises.

If we jumped from Peter's confession of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah straight to the glory of the Transfiguration we would get one answer. Glory lies in recognizing that God is present. Glory is what faith is about.

The only problem is that is not what Mark (nor Matthew and Luke who tell the story in the same order) does. The path between confession and transfiguration is interrupted with a reminder of suffering and struggle and the costs of discipleship. In short the path to glory is decidedly not glorious.

One commentary describes this passage as a sequence of Confession, Confrontation, Confusion. This commentary ends with the suggestion that if Peter (and we) stops and listens to the hard words he (and we) might end with clarity instead of confusion.

It is tempting to jump from recognizing who Jesus is to the search for awe and glory. But that is not the path Jesus offers us. Jesus offers us the foolishness of glory through struggle, life through death. Like Peter we might want to "correct" Jesus on these things.

AS we seek the path of glory, lets not forget that it leads through places we might not want to go...

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