Rise and Shine

Denise Vredevoogd

Read: Matthew 17:1-9

But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” (v. 7)

Imagine being on a mountaintop after a long climb. Your friend’s face begins to glow like the sun and his clothes turn an iridescent white. Two men appear and begin to converse with him. You have heard much about these important historical figures who died many years ago and in awe, you want to preserve the moment. Then a bright cloud surrounds all of you and an unseen voice declares, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (v. 5).

What would you do? This revelation, an epiphany, an awareness of the divine—it’s beyond your comprehension! Would you fall with your face to the ground, terrified? That’s what the three disciples in today’s passage did, even though they were not in physical danger or being threatened.

Sometimes we experience a holy moment when God acts on our behalf, blinding us by grace. An unexpected check comes in the mail at the right time, the biopsy is benign, Jesus “appears” as the hands and shining face of a friend at the door. The overwhelming power of the seemingly impossible can make our knees buckle.

When faced with an extravagant display of God’s goodness, don’t shrink in fear. Instead, feel Jesus gently touching you, saying “Get up. Don’t be afraid.” The love the Father expressed for his Son, he also extends to you and me if we have the courage to see and accept it. —Denise Vredevoogd

Prayer: Touch our lives with your glorious light and transform us as we bask in your presence.