2LA20. Genesis 12:1-4a. To Abram God says, “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you.” In last week’s reading Adam and Eve had the potential of being the parents of a paradise world but they sinned and brought the great struggle against sin to all of us to be able to regain the paradise of heaven. From Abram God promised a great nation who will be enabled to lead the world out of sin. And in later times all peoples would find a great blessing in the Hebrew peoples that God established through Abram.
Matthew 17:1-9. On top of the high mountain close to God, Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James, and John. Moses representing the Law and Elijah, the prophets, were there conversing with Jesus. Peter wished to give high honors to them. Then God the Father spoke from a bright cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” The word ‘listen’ here means, ‘Hear what he has to say, then go and do it.’ The authority of God himself spoke through the cloud. God was to form a new people from Jesus who is still leading his followers, called Christians, though this world to heaven. The great power of this mighty event left the apostles prostrate and fearful. Jesus, who is the essence of peace, said, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” This vision was probably given to these three apostles to prepare them for the resurrection to come.
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8. “God saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus.” We have been given salvation which we struggle to hold on to every day in Christ because the forces of this world seek to tear it out of our hands. Jesus calls us to a life that is not of this world. A life that is without death, eternally filled with the brilliance that is his presence.