Students sitting outside Bockman
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

It starts out innocently enough. A stroll up the mountain with Jesus. But then company comes. Jesus is joined by Moses and Elijah. What a sight that must have been! Moses, representing the law; Elijah, representing the prophets; and Jesus, representing the fulfillment of both. I'm sensing a theme in the image of mountains in this week's readings. Moses' face on Mt. Sinai outwardly reflects God's glory. On this mountain, Jesus' face radiates God's glory from within. His divine nature is revealed. Here once again on a mountain God shows up in a cloud that both terrifies and elicits worship. It is on a mountain that God's voice gives authority to the Ten Commandments. It is on a mountain that God's voice gives authority to Jesus' words. "Listen to him," we are told.

We all have mountaintop experiences, but we also experience life's valleys. Isn't it nice to know Jesus meets us in both places?

Father, thank you for being a God of not only mountains, but of valleys as well. Wherever we find ourselves, we thank you that you meet us where we are. Amen.

Laurie Neill, '12
Discipleship Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Fargo, N.D.

Matthew 17:1-9 (NRSV)

1 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.
2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.
3 Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.
4 Then Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!"
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear.
7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Get up and do not be afraid."
8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, "Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.