“Yahweh is sovereign” (ap). That’s relatively easy to proclaim when God is off on God’s holy mountain. But what if the holy mountain is my heart? What if the cherubim God is enthroned on are my own wants and urges? What if the pillar of cloud where God speaks is my own prayer? What if God’s footstool is my will? That’s harder.
Here’s the root of my sin: I don’t entirely trust God. I don’t wholly give myself over to God as my ruler, the sovereign of my heart. I want to keep a bit of the power to myself. I want to go my own way. I want to choose my path. I’m not quite ready to go wherever God leads me.
Nevertheless, God is still ruler. With infinite grace God reigns over us not by making demands or forcing us to obey but by shining light in our darkness, illuminating a life-giving way for us. We can strike off on our own and try to find our own way in the dark if we choose, but God shines light on a more life-giving way.
On a visit to a desert monastery, I went to night and morning prayers in the dark with my way lit by luminaria. We were not forced to go to the chapel, but all other paths were treacherous in the dark. Grace lit the way.
God reigns not by forceful power but in the gift of the light of beauty, mercy, justice, and grace. When we submit to God’s reign of light in our hearts and let ourselves be led by God’s grace, we find that God’s light not only shines on our way but also shines from within into all our life and out into the world.
God of light, shine your love in my heart. Shine your grace on my path. Help me discern your light and follow. Direct my steps so that I may walk in your way. Amen.
The Transfiguration is a striking manifestation of the union of humanity and divinity in Christ. In Exodus, Moses goes up the mountain to meet with God, and the divine presence on the mountain is like a consuming fire. The psalmist says that the presence of the Lord shakes the earth. In Second Peter the author declares that the truth of Christ’s message is affirmed by the glory that surrounds Jesus on the mountain and the voice from heaven that confirms his authority. In Matthew’s account, the revelation of the glory of the divine son of God on top of a mountain causes the disciples to fall down in fear. Moses and Elijah are present, demonstrating the continuity of Christ with the prophets and the always overwhelming splendor of God’s presence.
Read Exodus 24:12-18. When have you experienced God’s cleansing and transforming fire?
Read Psalm 99. How has God led you through darkness?
Read 2 Peter 1:16-21. How can you be attentive to the light of God in the world around you?
Read Matthew 17:1-9. When have you experienced God’s love shining through you?
Respond by posting a prayer.