March 4, 2012 is the Second Sunday of Lent. The Gospel for this day is from Mark, chapter 9: 2-10. It is the story of the Transfiguration, the “mountain top experience” for Jesus and the three disciples.
As we journey to Calvary during the forty days of Lent, we always stop on the second Sunday of Lent and read about the “mountain top experience” of Jesus and his followers.
Since all of us live in a world still plagued by racism, segregation, poverty, lack of meaningful work, and sometimes, raw hunger, we need a “mountain top experience” just to keep going.
That is probably what Jesus needed too, since his arrest and cruel death were not far in the future.
He needed to ascend to the top of the mountain and hear those comforting words from his Father, “This is my son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” With these words still ringing in his ears, he could go forward toward Jerusalem and death!
Our own brother Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also had an experience that empowered him to go to his death. Martin preached, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountain top.”
We don’t know just what Martin saw, but we can believe that it was a visionary experience; it gave him peace, trust and the power to continue his journey for justice knowing that the forces of evil were coming at him, much like they were for Jesus.
Martin, like Jesus continued his journey preaching peace, love, tolerance, and he ended up like Jesus, dead, but without retaliation. From that death has come life.
Those of us who have ourselves been to the mountaintop and have been given the grace of seeing beyond the sin and death that racism, segregation, poverty cause, we are led to a New Day, an Easter of peace, justice, love.
We do believe that peace and justice will become real. We can dream that as Jesus died and Martin died violently, without ever repaying violence with violence, we too can be proactive messengers of peace and non-violence.
During these wonderful grace-filled days of Lent, we can pray for peace and equality, good jobs and an end to racism, knowing that God has heard our plea and will answer like he answered Jesus on the mountaintop: “You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased. Do not lose heart; I am with you all days.”
September 2, 2012 //
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