Steven Bouma-Prediger is a professor of religion at Hope College, a Camp Fowler summer volunteer, and a camper/staff parent.
“This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”
The day was cold and crystal clear. My students and I began our ascent early, and after a few hours came to the summit block. The trail, now above tree line, went straight up over grey granite, scraped clean by wind and rain. As we reached the summit of Mt. Marcy, the highest mountain in New York, we had a 360-degree view of the High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains. We could see Algonquin to the west, Skylight to the south, Gothics to the east, and Lake Placid to the north. It seemed like we were in heaven.
In this famous passage in Mark, we read of Jesus and three of his disciples climbing a high mountain. Strange things can happen on mountains. In this case, Jesus is transfigured, bathed in white light, and the two greatest prophets in Jewish history appear with Jesus. Peter thinks he is in heaven and blurts out a half-baked idea about pitching tents and camping out. But a commanding voice—God’s voice—speaks and makes clear that the greatest prophet is Jesus, the Beloved Son. And this Jesus, the Word “tenting among us” (John 1:14), is the Messiah who aims to finish what Moses and Elijah started—the redemption of the world. So why wouldn’t we listen to him?
Prayer: O Lord, help us to listen to your Son, that we may do your will on earth.
For this year’s Lent devotions, the days follow the Common Lectionary texts. Each author was invited to:
Read the passage.
Read a couple passages before and after the assigned day.
Do something else for the day, keeping the passage in mind.
Find a word/phrase/concept that connects with your own experience. Reflect on that.
You are encouraged to do the same.