See the source imagePentecost 20 – Saturday Devotion

Readings:  Deuteronomy 25:17-26:19 and Matthew 17:1-13  

Deuteronomy 26:17-19:  “You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you will walk in His ways, and keep His statutes and His commandments and His rules, and will obey His voice.  And the LORD has declared today that you are a people for His treasured possession, as He has promised you, and that you are to keep all His commandments, and that He will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that He has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as He promised.”

Matthew 17:2-3:  And [Jesus] was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light.  And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Him.

 

“Treasured and Holy”

Imagine being on that mount where Jesus’ appearance became so dazzling white that you couldn’t look directly at Him!  It was a long journey up to that mountain. So If you were Peter, James, or John, you may have been exhausted after that long climb.  No wonder the disciples may have also been wearied and took a nap (see Luke 9:28-36).

Awake and taking in this scene of glory, Peter prescribes what he plans to do.  “Let’s commemorate this moment and make shrines. We can then come up here again and again and remember this great moment.”  He didn’t know what he was talking about.

“This is My beloved Son!  Listen to Him!”  The voice from the cloud of glory would interrupt Peter and his puny plans.  God has something greater; listen to Jesus, God’s only Son, whom He will now give to the world as the sacrifice for sin.

The Children of Israel also brought their offerings once they came into the Land of Promise.  It was a simple plan; God knew what He was doing and what He was talking about.  He wanted to teach the people how to remember His deliverance.  He delivered them “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders.”  But that was a sign of something greater to come.

God would make His people a treasured possession.  But first He had to dig them out of Egypt.  He had to pay the price of the first born to rescue and redeem them.  He would also make them holy, causing them to stand on the ground which He had claimed as His, giving it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob and to their descendants forever.  Moses and Elijah stand with Jesus as one key testimony.  God would always remember those who served Him and would affirm His promises.  

Treasured and holy!  We are that today.  God has made us holy by the sacrificial blood of Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  We are God’s treasured possession. If we were not, He would have abandoned us and even destroyed us where we would join the ranks of Amalek where no one would remember us.  

God continues to remember us.  He knows our hurts and pains.  Likewise, He knows the sufferings we experience as the body of humanity during this pandemic. He also hears our laments as we try to shut our ears to the fake news and bad news of our world.  Coming to us, He touches us in our fear, helping us hear Him and listen to His beloved Word and obey His voice.

He treasures us by giving us His treasured Possession:  Jesus.  His mighty hands and outstretched arms on the cross show us what He was willing to do.  He takes us from our land of bondage—our Egypt—and make us His ‘segula’—His precious possession.  We are now His own, to live under Him in His kingdom. And one day we will also live in the Promised Land of Heaven, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.  

 

Let us pray:  O God, in the glorious transfiguration of Your beloved Son You confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of Moses and Elijah.  In the voice that came from the bright cloud You wonderfully foreshadowed our adoption by grace.  Mercifully make us co-heirs with the King in His glory, bringing us to the fullness of our inheritance in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns to all eternity with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.  (Collect for the Transfiguration of our Lord)

Our Father…

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen.  Hebrews 13:20-21