There’s an air of anxiety in our scripture readings at the liturgy today. God shows Abram (before he became Abraham) that he will stand at the top of a lineage with many descendants and that he will take possession of the land. But Abram is still worried about the future: “My Lord, how am I to know that I shall inherit it?” And God has to reassure Abram, to keep him persevering in faith.
The same is true with Peter, James and John. Jesus gives them a real boost to the their faith by letting them see him being transfigured on the mountain top, talking with Moses and Elijah…a sure sign that he is from God. But Peter, like Abram, is worried that things won’t always be like this and so he tries to get three booths or tents set up to preserve the atmosphere of the moment.
Both Abram and Peter are privileged to be in the presence of God, yet they are worried about the road ahead and whether or not they will really see things through. Sound familiar? No matter how strong our faith is, we still have moments when we wonder what it’s all about, whether we can cope with present difficulties and how we will match up to the demands of the future. Of course, that’s what faith is all about.
If faith were a manual of answers, an instruction book that couldn’t fail, then it would no longer be faith. When we stop praying for perseverance in faith we have become muscular Christians who think they can reach heaven by religious effort.
But as we go through life we come across people and events that strengthen our faith. It seems that when everything is rumbling on in a mundane way we suddenly are given a glimpse of what lies beyond. These mountain-top experiences boost
our faith because they redirect our hope and recharge our enthusiasm.
Last week we began Lent by looking at the temptations that lie in wait for us as we try to follow Christ. This week we are given a shot in the arm as we glimpse something of the glory of Jesus in the Transfiguration.
So Lent isn’t just about sin. It’s also about faith, promise, perseverance, hope, dreams, compassion , trust, reconciliation and renewal.
Have a Happy Lent!