Luke 9: 28-32 “About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendour, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfilment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.”

As they would do in Gethsemane, they fell asleep. Jesus’ closest friends, who had been chosen to be with him for the raising of Jairus’ daughter only weeks ago are now with him on this mountain trip.

During the hours of prayer they fell asleep. They were tired from walking and what may have been an emotional rollercoaster of the eight days since Jesus announced he would die and that they would have a cross to carry also. That’s perhaps their excuse. We may be able to understand this ourselves and not be too critical. I am continually being asked by friends and colleagues if I am getting enough sleep. I am for sleeping. It is good. But there are Red Bull moments when sleeping is the last thing we should be doing.

At what point did they wake up? Luke suggests that they became fully awake once Jesus had transfigured into his heavenly appearance and after Moses and Elijah had arrived.

  • These 3 apostles knew they were called by Jesus to accompany him in prayer, but they fall asleep.
  • During the prayer of Jesus he is transfigured and the Son of Man in Daniel’s vision is now on that mountain. But they are asleep.
  • The Glory of God is shining all around, the once-in-a-lifetime Revelatory divine experience is right there and they are asleep.
  • The brightness of the moment, brighter than the midday sun and yet they are closed in the darkness of sleep.
  • If it was not for the Grace of God they would have missed the Glory of God completely because of their sleep.
  • They woke from their sleep, it took some time, they had to become fully awake, but they then saw and heard but didn’t properly understand. Their sleep had missed the move from the earthly to the divine in the place of prayer. The prayer of Jesus was the explanation but their sleep blinded them to it.

Along with many I too join in the concerns for the Church today. I think we need to grasp the important aspects of our connection to the world we live in; the desire for our own comfort; the attack on the faith of our ancestors; the diluting of the words of Jesus and the twisting of the truth to fit our lives.

Many are fearing that gender identity, expressive individualism and the stripping away of absolutes will weaken the Church to something we were never meant to be.

I too am in that group but I am realising something else this morning.

Maybe the greatest fear I have is that right now, the Great Intercessor is interceding, there are movements in the heavenly realms and the possibility for the Glory of God is right here and yet the Church is asleep. Maybe our sleep is seen in our focus on who we are, our identity, our need to be who I was created to be, my pleasures, what is important for me to be and have and to hold, the desire to be treated exactly the same as everyone else as for that is fair, right, true and just. Yet in our conferences, forums and working groups that take days, weeks, months and even years to come to decisions upon perhaps all we are doing is sleeping.

The Glory of Christ, who He is, far outweighs who we are. His brilliance shines brighter than our brilliance. His identity radically impacts our identity. Our hope is that in His Grace, He will wake us. In our waking we too will share in His transfiguration. The world needs to see the Body of Christ transfigured into the eternal, divine, powerful, majestic body. That we may stop talking about us and talk more about Him.

Wake us up, Lord!

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