An Appointment with God

Posted by on Mar 9, 2014 in Faith Words |

Words of Faith
Rev. Rita S. Platt
March 2, 2014 – Transfiguration Sunday
“An Appointment with God”

Matthew 17:1-9
A brilliant magician was performing on an ocean liner. But every time he did a trick, the Captain’s parrot would yell, “It’s a trick. He’s a phony. That’s not magic.” Then one evening during a storm, the ship sank while the magician was performing. The parrot and the magician ended up in the same lifeboat. For several days they just glared at each other, neither saying a word to the other. Finally the parrot said, “OK, I give up. What did you do with the ship?”
The parrot couldn’t explain that last trick! It was too much to comprehend, even for a smart parrot. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Scholars over the years have tried to explain what in the world Peter meant by this suggestion. But, I think trying to find meaning to these words is pointless. It’s simply the way Matthew explains: Peter was frightened and he just said the first thing that came to into his head. He simply could not comprehend what was happening.
Peter, James and John couldn’t comprehend what was happening.  I am not sure we do, either.
Let’s turn to the 16th chapter, beginning with verse 13: “Who do people say I am?”
So they said “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
Then Jesus asked the important question: “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Christ, (the anointed One) , the Son of the Living God”
Jesus told him, “You are Peter, the rock, on this I will build my church.”
Then Jesus predicts his death.
Six days later Peter, James and John have an appointment: they experience Jesus in all his glory.
Peter wanted to memorialize the moment…”let’s make three tabernacles”…we can just stay here and soak it all in.
Isn’t that what we want to do when we have a “mountain-top experience”?  Don’t we want to memorialize the moment?  I remember a time at a retreat when I heard God’s voice speaking to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” It was at a time I was being criticized by some members of the church for doing a very effective community ministry to children. I knew that is what God wanted me to do. God was adding new children each week, but the people wanted me to stop. I knew I couldn’t. It was a very hard time in my ministry. When I heard God’s voice speaking to me I wanted to just stay there and soak it in.
We know these are special times; and like Peter, we want to memorialize them.
But that’s not God’s plan. Peter was supposed to learn and move on at the foot of the mountain . . . .there is need.
Our appointments with God are always for others, but sometimes we don’t hear the need.
Waiting to be interviewed for a job as a wireless operator, a group of applicants paid little attention to the sound of the dots and dashes which began coming over a loudspeaker. Suddenly one of them rushed into the employer’s office. Soon he returned smiling. “I got it!” he exclaimed.”How did you get ahead of us?” they asked. “You might have been considered if you hadn’t been so busy talking that you didn’t hear the manager’s coded message,” he replied. “It said, ‘The man I need must always be on the alert. The first one who interprets this and comes directly into my private office will be hired.’”
We need to be alert because all of us have appointments with God.  They are not always on the mountain, but they are times God reveals God’s self in a special way. These moments happen to all of us, but we often miss them because we are too pre-occupied.
If we are going to be the church God needs us to be…filled with power, able to care for the needs of God’s children, we are going to make paying attention to those moments a priority. Otherwise we won’t be effective.  It is our choice. What will we do?