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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Saturday, February 06, 2016

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How good, Lord, to be here!
Your glory fills the night;
your face and garments, like the sun,
shine with unborrowed light.

How good, Lord, to be here!
your beauty to behold
where Moses and Elijah stand,
your messengers of old.

Fulfiller of the past
and hope of things to be,
we hail your body glorified
and our redemption see.

Before we taste of death,
we see your kingdom come;
we long to hold the vision bright
and make this hill our home.

How good, Lord, to be here!
Yet we may not remain;
but since you bid us leave the mount,
come with us to the plain.

This hymn's opening line mirrors Peter's words from this week's gospel account of the Transfiguration of Jesus. There on the mountain along with the disciples we truly see all the actions of God's good deeds in the past and all the hoped for promises for the future come together in a glimpse of God's coming kingdom. Perhaps we can just imagine the answer to our repeated prayer that Jesus taught us, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as in heaven." Yes, "How good, Lord, to be here." But we may not remain here. We stand on the very cusp of Lent and our journey with Jesus to the cross. There is the matter of this earthly realm, and of the work of healing and justice that marks the agenda of God in this Jesus. And it is us and our world that God's mercy has in mind. And so it is fitting that we sing, "Come, Lord Jesus"--yes, "come with us to the plain."

God of Promise, we long for mountain tops, but you know our need better than we; so we give thanks that in Jesus, our Lord, you have chosen to come to dwell with us here "on the plain" and to be a bright vision of hope in the midst of our darkness. Amen.

James L. Boyce
Emeritus Professor of New Testament and Greek, Luther Seminary
Master of Divinity , 1971

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