Today, I read the story of the Transfiguration over breakfast and thought about it all day long. I asked myself, what is this story's most important "takeaway" message for me, personally. Driving through Winooski hours later, it struck me:
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
God told the disciples back then: "Listen to him." God told this disciple today: "Listen to him." So I will try to listen to him, and not settle for only the distorting filter of nature, the kind word of a friend, and books about him. I want to hear directly from God's son. The best way for me, right now, to do this is to continue to read the gospels daily with eyes to see and ears to hear.
I must listen with a good servant's commitment to understand and obey his Master. The Pharisees asked plenty of questions, but in this sense they didn't "listen to him."
I must listen to him even if he tells me my beloved country must repent in ways that will sound strange to me and my conservative friends.
I must listen to him even if obedience means not defending myself when others criticize unfairly (oh boo hoo!).
I must listen even if he tells me to give away my treasure without getting any glory for it.
I must listen with perseverance, resisting the temptation to stop after 2 seconds and start building my personal equivalent of Peter's silly shelters. Write songs? Write letters? Write a blog?
I must listen.....and believe he is talking about me when he says "if you hear these things, blessed are you if you do them."
This is big, holy talk.
How daunting is the big, holy cross of the ramifications of "listen to him." And yet I know he does not only challenge. There will be support and love and understanding that is literally beyond human comprehension.