Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mount Tabor

As we passed by Mount Tabor in our tour bus, our tour guide said, "The only way to the top of Mount Tabor is by taxi on your next trip to Israel." Like so many of the inexhaustible places to visit in Israel, we will have to wait until our next trip to go to the top. This time we were only able to drive by Mount Tabor, just long enough to capture this photo from the bus, but long enough to imagine what it must have been like on that glorious transfiguration day through the excellent description and closing prayer in the book, "Meeting God in Holy Places," by F. LaGard Smith:

"Jesus' preeminence, messiahship, lordship, ultimate authority, and indeed, divinity were yet to be demonstrated. So we find Jesus taking Peter, James, and John and leading them "up a high mountain by themselves." At the top, the disciples were apparently taking a rest while Jesus was praying. Suddenly Jesus' face was seen to shine like the sun! The apostles would later describe Jesus' clothes as "dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them." Or "as bright as a flash of lightning!"

Then, amazement of all amazements, the three apostles saw Moses, and Elijah standing there with Jesus, talking about the events which would take place in Jerusalem when he would depart from the earth. Moses and Elijah were there, our spirits live beyond the grave! There was power of recognition whereby it was possible for Jesus and the apostles to know who Moses and Elijah were. Does this not suggest that on the other side, "I shall know fully, even as I am fully known," that you and I will be able to instantly recognize Moses and Elijah as if we had known them all over lives?

Then, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well-pleased. Listen to Him!" What God said of His Son that day on the summit of Mount Tabor was not just a repetition of what he had said on the occasion of Jesus' baptism: "This is my Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well-pleased." It's those three additional words--"Listen to Him!"--that tell the tale. The voice from Heaven. The voice of God. The thundering, awesome, terrifying voice of Jehovah saying, "Listen to Him!"

O Lord, hear my prayer. With each new day, speak to me out of the cloud. Let my face shine brighter and brighter with the light of Your Son. And may my own story end just as theirs ended that glorious day on Mount Tabor: "When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus."

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