Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesusâ€™ glory and the two men standing with him. As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, â€œMaster, itâ€™s wonderful for us to be here! Letâ€™s make three shelters as memorials â€”one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.â€ Â Â Luke 9:32-33 (NLT)
I grew up going to church at least weekly until I left for college. And there were a couple of times during Holy Week when I would say that I experienced moments when I really felt God near to me. Until one night, in a church that wasn’t my home church, God came near and I committed my life to Him. The next two years I wanted to build a shelter for Jesus to live in so I could go there and I would know where He was and how to call on Him when I needed Him. Yes, I wanted to build a â€œmemorialâ€ to that â€œtranfiguringâ€ moment that I had witnessed.
Then a voice from the cloud said, â€œThis is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.â€ Â Â verse 35 (NLT)
Often in the gospels I read that the disciples â€œdid not understandâ€ and I think that these folks were really dense! But then I realize that I may be no different than those disciples. It isn’t that I am not intelligent enough to understand words â€“ it’s having ears to hear what my LORD is saying.
As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, â€œI will follow you wherever you go.â€
But Jesus told him,â€œAnyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.â€ Â Â verse 62 (NLT)
What God may say to me could include â€œFollow me without a big houseâ€ (or even a small one!). He may be asking me to change where I live and not look back to â€œthe good ol’ daysâ€. He may be asking me to eat a small salad for lunch and give my excess lunch money to a homeless person or save it up to give to the food kitchen that serves a free Thanksgiving feast in a few weeks. â€œFollow meâ€ â€“ take a look through the gospels to where Jesus went. He is rarely found inside the synagogue, sitting very comfortably in the chair of honor. He is out in the roadways, in the homes, and often with sinners. That will cover everyone I know and those I have yet to meet!
I believe every day, in small ways, I must make a choice to follow Jesus â€“ or not. He has given me a free will with a brain to reason and a spirit to discern. But above all of that is the trust and faith that has grown in strength and knowledge as we have spent time together, Jesus leading and me following. To not follow Jesus is to miss opportunities that are without description or value as His Kingdom is built. I don’t want to miss anything when Jesus is involved! But I should also remember, following Jesus does not involve any safe boxes!
I Will Follow Him written by Franck Pourcel and Paul Mauriat, sung by the good sisters in Sister Act