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Mark 129 - Waiting

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

Mark 9:2-4

Some of the great and overwhelming demands that we expect is that all of life is to revolve around us. Everyone and everything are to be immediately ready and available for us to enjoy life. And this enjoyment of life is defined by what we want. How we want it. With whom we want it.

Every morning I drive to the local Dunkin Donuts for an extra-large, hot decaf coffee with two sweeteners and five creams. And in order to avoid the line that’s always there, I use a mobile app on my phone to order it before I arrive.

I don’t have to enter the store for my order. I don’t even have to enter how I’m going to pay for it. The app remembers everything for me. I only have to confirm the store and my coffee with the touch of a couple of buttons.

What a great piece of personalization and technology.

But then there are those mornings where their server is down, or the app cannot connect with the internet. What a great loss and inconvenience. Oh, the humanity. I’m reduced to standing in line just like all the other people. I’ve lost my special treatment and status as a connected DD geek.

Waiting is such a drag.

Peter, James, and John also had to wait. Six days. We don’t know what they did, what was said during those six days. Was there some special webinar? Did they memorize some special verses? Did they fast and pray?

When the Bible is silent, so should we. Or perhaps nothing is recorded because nothing out of the ordinary happened? What if they were just six regular days? Six run-of-the-mill days that were filled with every day, normal things of life.

And then, after six days, something marvelous happens. The miraculous happens. The monumental happens.

Without warning, after walking up a hill, Jesus changes right before their eyes. There was no message from heaven. No whisper from God that said, “Psst! Somethings going happen today. So, get ready.”

All of a sudden, Jesus looked very different. His outward appearance drastically changed. And this was no ordinary changing of cloths, putting on a tie, or anything like that. His outward appearance changed to align with his inward person, character, and nature.

His face shone like the sun and his cloths became as white as the light[1]. This was no ordinary transfiguration. This was a transfiguration of the son of God, God the son.

The old Christmas hymn says it very clearly.

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,

Hail the incarnate Deity![2]

God showed up in a most remarkable and powerful way. There was no waiting for him in the Green Room of life. No warmup before the starting gun of life went off. Without waiting or warning, God showed up.

This is how we’re to approach and live life. With eager anticipation, being on the lookout for God to show up. Living the moment-by-moment of what some call monotonous life, with the certain knowledge that something miraculous might be around the corner. Just around the next bend in the road. Down the next highway. In the next personal encounter.

When we choose to live this way, there’s no room for boredom. Every breadth, every person we meet, every unexpected moment is a gift. Our choice is how to accept them and what to do with them.

There’s another old hymn,

Take my moments and my days,

let them flow in ceaseless praise[3].

Our choice is what to do when these special moments happen. And they will happen, so we better be prepared for them.

Now, we’re not going to see Jesus’ face and clothes light up, but we might encounter a very special working of God’s power and grace in the lives of another. Or maybe in our lives. So, when it happens, will we take it and turn it into thankful praise to God?

It’s our choice. Are we waiting with eager anticipation? How are we getting ready for it?

[1] Matthew 17:2 [2] Hark! the herald angels sing, Charles Wesley (1739) [3] Take my life and let it be, Frances Ridley Havergal (1874)

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