This was from an article over at CNN: “James Cameron’s completely immersive spectacle “Avatar” may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.” Putting aside that the movie was a bit of tripe, I was reminded of that article as I read the passage we’ll be looking at this Sunday at Eastgate.
I think about people sitting in a theater for the 3 hours Avatar took to play out. Totally immersed in the lights and colors spread out before them in 3-D. I imagine them sitting all the way through the credits, loath to take off those glasses and confront the reality of familiar things. Gone are the translucent, glowing forests. Spilled popcorn and wads of chewing gum now decorate their path. The glory fades away, and the hard edges of real life return to focus.
I bet Pete, Jimmy and Jack felt that way too, after their mountaintop experience with Jesus. Right in the middle of it all, Pete had blurted out instructions for how to secure the moment and enshrine it. It wasn’t meant for enshrinement though. It was just a glimpse, after all, of what the end game will be like. A glimpse of the finish line. Back in v 27, Jesus predicted that there were those standing there with him who would “not taste death until they see the kingdom of God”. All three synoptic gospels place the story of the transfiguration on the heels of that prediction…so it must be what he was talking about. Jesus showed the disciples why taking up a cross and following him was worth it…he pulled back the curtain just a bit to show just how glorious it will be.
As you think about the details of this story, what jumps out at you? What happened, who were the characters involved, what was said? As you ponder that, share what thoughts you have about how it forecasts what the kingdom of God will be like when it’s fully revealed.
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