Genesis 15: 5-12, 17-18 Philippias 3:20-4:1 Luke 9:28b – 36
As human being, what sets us apart, what makes us unique in all of creation, is the ability we possess to choose. Unlike any other part of creation, we can choose, we can improve, how it is that we live. The source of all that is, God, has bestowed on each of us this wonderful ability to make choices.
The fundamental choice we have been given is whether we choose to live our lives in a relationship with the God who made us. Do we choose, that is, to live out our lives in accord with the potential we possess as creatures, as reflections of this loving God. It is this basic question that is presented to us in God’s word to us today.
In the spiritual, religious, experience of Abraham, the first believer in the one God, Abraham understood that God and he were entering into a relationship, an agreement, a covenant. God, as represented by a flaming pot and torch, pledges fidelity to this covenant. For our part, do we choose, as did Abraham, to live lives that reflect a similar faithfulness toward our loving God?
In the religious experience of Peter, James and John, a summary of all that has been revealed thus far is represented by the presence of Moses and Elijah, the Old Covenant, the Law and the Prophets; a summary, as well, of all that would be is seen in the glorious transfiguration of Christ. This experience took place so that they might be encouraged in the choice they had made to have faith that God, indeed, had come into the world in the person of Jesus Christ. Soon that faith would be tested. They would have to confront the reality of Christ’s suffering and death. They would have to resist the temptation to reject the revelation of the totality of God’s love.
In contrast to these religious experiences, we hear practical words from Saint Paul. He addresses the Christian community at Philippi, but he is also speaking to us. What choice are they to make? What choice are we to make. Do we choose to join with Paul and remain faithful to a life that is a reflection of our potential as followers of Jesus Christ? Do we choose lives that appreciate the goodness and presence of God who seeks to enter a loving relationship with us? Do we choose lives that respect the dignity and worth of all creation? Or, do we choose to fall back into a life that is opposed to Christ and his teaching, whose god is the stomach, whose glory is shame, who end is destruction? Paul gives a very graphic description of a very limited view of life, of the selfishness of sin, of a rejection of God and godliness that we can also choose to show.
These choices are presented to us day after day. Our presence here today suggests that we have made the right choice. But each of us needs to be strengthened in that choice by uniting with God and by being encouraged by one another. In this way are helped to remain faithful in our relationship with God this day, this week, until we come back together again, having made the choice to give honor and praise to a good and gracious God.