Sat, 16 March 2019
(Gn.15:5-12,17-18; Ps.27:1,7-9,13-14; Phil.3:17-4:1; Lk.9:28-36)
“A cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.”
As darkness thus covered the three apostles, so “a trance fell upon Abram, and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.” Both find themselves surrounded by darkness and filled with fear. In just this way the Lord brings His revelations. For as the Lord is about to pronounce beyond doubt that Jesus is the Messiah, so He is about to send “a flaming torch” to pass between Abram’s offerings and so confirm his taking possession of the Promised Land. The Lord must act in such manner to cleanse all foolishness from our souls, that we might hear His most pure Word.
But light comes out of the darkness: indeed, “the Lord is [our] light and [our] salvation” – He Himself is not darkness. And so as the fire of the torch pierces the dark night upon Abram’s mind, so the chief apostles are privileged to see Jesus’ glory, to witness in fullness the Light the Son of God is. And the Lord God leaves no doubt with them that it is of Jesus He says, “This is my chosen Son,” for though the greatest men of Jewish history had also “appeared in glory” with Jesus, now He is “found alone” – and the apostles are left speechless.
It must pass to the marrow of our bones, the Truth of Christ’s salvation. If in any way superficial or “occupied with earthly things” is our vision, Him we have not known. He alone stands as our “life’s refuge”; in Him alone do we find God’s presence – Him alone should our “glance” seek. But as we pray, “Hide not your face from me,” we should realize how profound is the prayer we make. For the Lord indeed “will change our lowly body to conform with His glorified body” when He appears at the end of the age, but consider for a moment what it will be like to have that power of refinement upon ourselves. Very much like the darkness which envelops the apostles and Abram today; very much like the dark night of the soul of which our great saints speak. Are you prepared to have the Lord separate soul from spirit with His sword of Truth? Do you know this piercing, fiery process even now? Then even in this world you shall begin to behold His face, and find yourself ready on that Day to be taken from earthly to heavenly tents.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "White" from Listening to the Lamp, ninth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, help us to stand ready
before the terrifying glory revealed in your Son.
YHWH, you are our light in the darkness of this world; though the dark threaten to envelop us, you are there to save us – even in the darkness we find your fire purifying our souls for entering your presence.
To your glory you call us; the land of Heaven you promise us. And that promise is set firmly upon the law and the prophets, and that promise is fulfilled in your Son. He is our hope as we pass through the temptations of this life knowing we are citizens of Heaven. O LORD, let us be conformed to His glorified Body!
You have given witness to Jesus, that He is your Chosen One. You call us to listen to Him, to seek only Him: He shines as the stars in the night sky, leading us to your glory. May our hearts be set on Him alone and we shall not be afraid. O LORD, hide not your face from us.