Throughout Advent, we posted blogs each week based on the Lectionary Readings for the previous Sunday. It was truly an awesome experience to travel through Advent with the universal church by praying, meditating, and responding to those texts. We loved it so much, thought we’d do it again throughout Lent.
Today, we are delighted to introduce you to Rev. Mark Foster. Rev. Foster is the Founding Pastor of Acts 2 United Methodist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. He married his wife Chantelle in August 1991. They have two sons, John Mark and Noah. Rev. Mark is led by the Spirit and is passionate about seeing people come to know Jesus. We met Pastor Mark in October of last year when we began to attend Acts 2 UMC. We are blessed to call him our Pastor, and are honored that he has written today’s guest post.
“Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”
— Mark 9:2-9 (NRSV)
So your local state representative takes you out on a long walk in the national forest. You have become close friends after a few years of following him closely. You know about his family, his hopes and dreams as well as his dedicated service of helping everyone in your community with whatever their need. He is now well-known for his feeding programs of those in need and for his remarkable health care initiatives bringing healing and changed lives to the formerly blind, deaf, and lame. He has even been seen working with highly contagious folk and the criminally insane. This you knew.
What you were not ready for was who you were about to meet with your state representative. You turn the last bend of the trail around the big cherry tree on your left and your representative begins to glow! No blaze!! – like lightning without the thunder. As your eyes adjust, you and your other two close friends with you begin to make out two other figures in front of you with your dazzling representative. There is talk about chopping down the cherry tree you just passed with the other taller man’s axe. As you wipe your eyes, you see your local rep having an everyday conversation with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as if they were old friends. You think to yourself for a moment. . .1700’s, 1800’s, 2012? Wait a minute?! And then they all three look at you as if it is your turn to speak as you are invited into the conversation. What do you say?
I’m not sure what I would say, but my guess is that it would not be profound. I would probably come up with something awesome like, ‘Anybody hungry?’
In the shock of seeing the greatest prophet Elijah, the greatest leader/savior of the Jewish people Moses, and the Messiah of all time Jesus, all talking together, what do you say? Peter says in essence, “Wow! This is great!! I have no idea what to do in this moment so I think I’ll build something. ‘Anybody want a hut?’ In this understandable mortal confusion, our loving God says to Peter and to us, “This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him!”
In the understandable mortal confusion that is today, this remains the best plan. Better than the greatest leaders any culture can think upon then or now, Jesus the Messiah is the only Son of God, the Beloved, listen to him! For He is good and worthy of all our praise!!!