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Peace & Pieces - February 8, 2024

“This is my Son, the beloved, listen to him.”

The insistent voice of God speaks to Peter, James, and John as they witness the awe- inspiring transformation of Jesus into a figure of holy glory clothed in white. As experiences go, this one must surely top the list for these first century fishermen. They would like nothing more than to stay on the mountaintop to bask and share in the reflected glory of Christ.

However, Jesus articulates strongly that neither his mission nor theirs is to stay in place, and it’s certainly not to achieve acclaim or celebrate his ability to draw a crowd. He came to remove the barriers that block people from closer communion with God. He came to show there is no power on earth stronger than the power of God, the power of grace, compassion, and mercy.

“Listen to him,” is a command all followers need to heed. We resist listening because

our human instinct is to choose glory and acclaim. Jesus chooses the cross and calls us to do the same:

“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves

and take up their cross and follow me.”

“Listen to him.” These words are the good news Jesus came to preach, and it’s his message is grounded in the paradox of the cross. The cross is the symbol of life in the midst of death, hope in the midst of suffering, and peace that passes understanding.To answer the call to take up our cross is a commitment that is not without struggle, confusion, and doubt. No matter the depth of our trust in Christ, sooner or later, we will be asked to deny ourselves or face hardship that we never wanted to face. We will be invited to see the face of Christ in everyone we meet and embrace the truth that even the person we consider our enemy is God’s beloved. We will be asked to keep walking with Jesus even when we would rather stay in place.

I’m so glad we’ve been walking the way of the cross together,

strengthening and loving each other as we go.

Pastor Lori+


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