A Mountain of Memories, a Table of Torn Bread

You’ve got one! I’ve got one. What’s yours? What’s your all-time favorite, best memory ever? Some Christmas present. Your best friend on the school playground. You made the team, or got your scout badge. Graduation! 1st love-at-1st-sight; your wedding day, a child/grand’s birth. You got the job or 1st house. All… wonderful! Each one a mountaintop moment. The kind you’d just like to go on forever. ‘Don’t wanna leave it. ‘Don’t wanna come down the hill and take up life in the valley again. It’s great here. It’s tough there! I know you know the feeling! … Alright now. So: let’s talk about your spirit-life. Your faith-life. Don’t you have a favorite, best memory here, too? “The hour I 1st believed”. When I knew first or best, that only God can comfort as only God can comfort. The day I was baptized, confirmed, (ordained). The Sunday School class where I learned I was loved as-I-never-knew-before. The day I came into God’s company (at church or elsewhere) feelin’ dirty, lost, alone, ashamed, a mess… and went away clean, found, hand-in-the-hand, standin’ up straight, fixed! Maybe, it could be a moment like Peter, James and John’s, when you lift up your eyes and see Jesus, only Jesus! Maybe today’s your day!

Wouldn’t you like the glory of seeing Jesus in all his glory? What would that take? Perhaps what it took for those earliest friends of Christ. First of all, you and I, we just need to walk with Jesus. To follow his lead. Matthew says six days after Peter has declared he knows Jesus is the Christ. Jesus takes Peter, James and John and leads them up a high mountain. ‘Apart from the other disciples. Now get this. No gospel says Jesus picked them. (We tend to think that, but we’re not told that.) All we’re told is that Jesus takes them and they follow. Hmm. Maybe Jesus led them because they were the only 1’s of the 12 willing to follow! Maybe when Jesus offered all the disciples a chance to go, 9 outta 12 looked at that mountain and said, “Too hard, too high, too much risk. (I might fall). If I can’t see that far ahead, I won’t go that far afield!” Maybe that’s what happened back then. We don’t know. We do know lots of us say just that to Jesus today. [Can you think of such a time in your life/our (church) life, not takin’ Jesus’ invitation ‘cause it was too hard or too scary?…] To glimpse the glory, let today be the day you decide to walk the walk, climb the hill, follow Jesus’ lead. Oh, we might not see Jesus with Moses. Or Elijah, greatest of the great prophets. ‘Might not overhear that conversation. Moses sayin’, “Jesus you are the giver of God’s new law. ‘Written on hearts, not on tablets. ‘Love as I love. Do as I do. Care for the least as I love you.’” [E.g.s] We might not hear Elijah sayin’, “Look that way Jesus. Go that way. O, it’s good up here where the sky is high, the air is clean, God is good, and time’s not mean. But you’re needed down there, where the sick need mendin’ and sin needs endin’, a cross needs dyin’, and death needs good-byin’.” We might not hear Elijah. But that’s OK. ‘Because God in Christ tells us the same thing, just like Peter, James and John. Listen to this. Peter’s yammerin’ on about how cool it is at the mountaintop, memorable moment. Let’s stay! ‘Nice spot for a new housing development (What a market that was!) But while he was speaking God interrupts! God always does! We have bright ideas about what would be cool. ‘Good for our lives. Righteous! But God interrupts. ‘Comes near. [GSA/KMH/R. Bantel e.g.s] You know what happens next? We fall on our faces… just like P/J/J. Awestruck. Afraid. Then comes the most memorable of all memories. That moment when, if only for a moment, we look up and see… JESUS. ONLY JESUS! And then we know and we go… with him! I invite you, challenge you, decide today to go up whatever hill Jesus invites you to climb. Look up. Hush up. Listen up. Glimpse the glory. JESUS. ONLY JESUS! And you’ll be ready to go back down the hill. Live and work, heal and hope in the valley. And he will be with you.

Who wouldn’t wanna see Jesus like that, way up the mountaintop? But I know, as you do. Such times are few and far between. (Like so many 1ce-in-a-lifetime memories.) It’s OK. There’s another chance to glimpse the glory in an O-so-different-way. Jesus at his most humble. Un-spectacular, unexpected. P/J/J got this other chance. So did the rest of Jesus’ best friends. And… how cool is this… we get the same moment. Here. Today. Now! Wow! “As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed, broke it, and gave it to them. “Take, eat; this is my body.” And later a cup. He gave thanks, gave it to them, and every one of them drank of it. (No more 3 for 12, but all in all) And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, poured out for many.” For us. All of us. For you. In something so ordinary as bread, the “I’m dyin’ to love you love of God” in Jesus Christ. And you get to have it today. So come on up. Come ahead. Come to his table today. [GSA Blessing/dining] Come and see Jesus, only Jesus. Feel the love. Taste the Lord. In this torn bread is his unbroken promise for you. Undeniable. Unforgettable. Unshakable. In every morsel, mountains of memories, made and yet to make, yesterday, today and tomorrow!

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