Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became bright as light. —Matthew 17:1,2 (NRSVUE)
Come with me and imagine being one of the disciples hiking up the mountain with Jesus. We get to the summit, and Jesus is transfigured–face shining, clothes as white as the light. Moses and Elijah appear. Then, to top it all off, a bright cloud covers us, and a voice from the cloud says, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him, I am well pleased; listen to him!”
For days and weeks afterwards, we play it over in our minds and whisper about it in secret. We can still feel the wonder and awe. We still can’t believe what we heard God say. Moses received the ten commandments on a mountain. We received a declaration of love. What was it like for Jesus to hear such loving affirmation from his father? What would it be like to hear those affirming words said about us?
Weeks later, Jesus starts talking about being a vine and that his father is the gardener. He talks of pruning and abiding. Then he says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”
As the words sink in, we’re taken back to the mountain where Jesus was transfigured. We can hardly believe it. We are God’s beloved. God is pleased with us.
What goes on for you as you hear your belovedness boldly declared by God? Do you find yourself soaking it in or brushing it off?
Take a moment now and notice how you respond to God’s declaration: You are my beloved child. I am pleased with you.”
What thoughts go through your mind?
I can imagine Jesus meeting each of us where we are.
The one who welcomes this love may hear Jesus’s words: “the one who seeks finds.”
To the one who is afraid, who has opened to love and been abandoned, he says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
He turns to the one who knows this already and invites them to explore the height, breadth and depth of God’s love.
He meets the one who thinks they don’t deserve this love with a prodigal embrace.
To the one who has received much and more love is given, for it is God’s nature to love and keep on loving.
Whichever one you are, I invite you to embrace your belovedness. Listen for God to tell you this again and again and again. For God is love, and that’s what love does.
Why is it so important that you are with God and God alone on the mountaintop? It’s important because it’s the place in which you can listen to the voice of the One who calls you the beloved. To pray is to listen to the One who calls you “my beloved daughter,” “my beloved son,” “my beloved child.” –Henri Nouwen
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Every day God is telling you, “You are my beloved child; in you I am well pleased.”
A Daily Lenten Prayer Practice
- Take a moment and ask God to bring to mind a moment in the last twenty-four hours in which you felt loved. What did you enjoy about that moment? Express your gratitude to God.
- Now, take a moment and ask God to bring to mind a moment in which it was hard to believe you were loved. Share what happened and what you felt with God. What do you notice as you allow God to reassure you of your belovedness?
- Finally, ask God to bring to mind a moment in which you participated in loving.
- End your time of prayer by asking God for the grace you need to give and receive love in specific situations tomorrow.
What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.
Wonderful post! Thank you!
Thanks, Dave. Good to hear.
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