We are excited to launch a new weekly devotional series provided by our chaplains! Our hope is for this ongoing series to offer opportunities for families living outside of our Bethesda community to engage in conversation with their loved ones within our community on their weekly chapel services.
Let us know your thoughts on this new venture! Email Our Chaplains!
Second Week Of February
In Sunday’s Gospel about Jesus’ transfiguration, there are some startling things that happened. Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John, “and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them” (from Mark 9:2-9). A cloud enveloped them, symbolizing the presence and power and glory of God, and they heard God’s voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”
When I was young, I remember reading this story. I wanted to be Peter, or James or John and see this even first-hand. I wanted to see Jesus dazzling white, transfigured before my eyes. I needed to know that God was so real, that I would not have any doubts if I saw it for myself – something like Thomas, who needed to put his hands into Jesus’ wounds – all to know that it was really Jesus, that this encounter of a transfigured Christ, so absolutely powerful that it would change my life perspective forever!
Well, I’ve learned over the decades that God is very real, that God delights in dwelling with and in us. One of God’s deepest longings is that we would know that we are God’s, that God is ours, and that he dwells with us (found in many places in Scripture [check out Revelation 21]).
Here’s some of what I’ve learned about this passage:
- First, this is a mystery. We can’t fully understand it. It’s supernatural. But the event did let Peter, James and John know that they were not messing around with just an ordinary man. Jesus was truly God, God enfleshed in Jesus.
- Second, being in God’s presence transforms us. As we spend time with God, reflecting on his Words, and his unconditional love toward us, we are changed. We begin to reflect more and more of God’s light and love to others!
- Third, live in the present, one of the toughest things to do. We don’t worry about the future – that will take care of itself. We can’t dwell in the past – because we can’t change it. We learn to enjoy the present, knowing that this overwhelmingly powerful God can show such a wild display of power, and yet has our future and our past in his hands!
God bless you as you walk the halls and work with residents, showing God’s love and light to others, letting that light reflect and shine into the lives of those around you. And then, listen to what God has been and continues to share with you about love, forgiveness, joy and hope. Amen.
A reminder that we close the Epiphany season, a season of light shining into the darkness, and we begin the season of Lent, this Wednesday.
You are welcome to be part of worship services this Wednesday, February 14:
12:30, in Sunrise Village, Assisted Living, with giving of ashes, and Communion,
2:00, in Main Dining Hall, with giving of ashes, and Communion.