The Natural Order (February 17, 2012)

…Opening To…

I caught a glimpse of Your splendor in the corner of my eye the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. And it was like a flash of lightning reflected off the sky, and I know I’ll never be the same. (Third Day, “Show Me Your Glory”)

…Listening In…

Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Human One had risen from the dead. (Mark 9:8-9; context)

…Filling Up…

When God tells the disciples to listen to Jesus, God implicitly commands them and us to rid ourselves of the box labeled “impossible.” If we listen to Jesus and obey him, then we trust that everything he does is the “real” thing – not a parlor trick or smoke and mirrors, not mere charisma or happenstance. He doesn’t bend the rules of a set universe, but he does bend the ones that our dangerously limited understanding has contrived.

Miracles aren’t glitches in the natural order. They are the natural order, the natural order that we dumped into the box long ago. The change, the metamorphosis, that occurs on the mountaintop prepares us for the even greater change that happens when Jesus rises from the dead, when Jesus tips the box over and removes the first two letters from the word “impossible.”

You see, the horizon exists not to limit our senses, but to give us something beyond which our dreams can thrive. The Transfiguration we celebrate on this coming Sunday (in my church, anyway) shines in our lives with dazzling brightness, reminding us of two things. First, there is something wonderful and glorious beyond the horizon. And second, that wonderful and glorious something couldn’t care less about horizons. The dazzling brightness of the Transfiguration foreshadows the even greater brightness of the resurrection, the brightness that rises in one breath of reckless animation. We will celebrate this triumph on Easter, seven weeks and two days from today.

During the intervening time, I invite you to look at the horizon. What do you see beyond it? What sliver of light ripples across the water? I also invite you to look inside yourselves. What have you restored to the box that Jesus once overturned? What change in your life are you resisting? Reflect on these questions. And, at the same time, know that Jesus stands forever before you, beckoning you to see him in all his dazzling brightness, beckoning you to see him with transfigured eyes, with eyes that see beyond the horizon.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you command me to listen to the words of your Son, who constantly speaks life into my being. Help me to rid myself of the box that is labeled “impossible” so that I can fully give myself over to your love. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, knowing that with you all things are possible.

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