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Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Twenty-One)

Day Twenty-One

Scripture: Mark 9:2-13

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. 11 Then they asked him, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ 12 He said to them, ‘Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.’


"Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

I don’t blame Peter. If I saw that awesome scene, I would have said the same thing: “It is good for us to be here! Let us camp here!” Mark writes that Peter had no idea what he was saying because he was terrified. Well, I would suggest that it is our human instinct to want to stay in an awe-inspiring place.

Did you have a moment in your life when you murmured, “I wish I could stay here forever”? I can think of a few places: a small quiet valley I found while biking toward Jungfrau in Switzerland, a vast plateau in Mongolia I visited with a short-term mission team, and Glacier Point in Yosemite when I went up there with my parents visiting from Korea. I cannot forget those moments when the breathtaking views deeply touched my core being.

What changed me on each trip, though, was not the moment when I was having the wishful thinking, “I want to stay here forever”, but the moment when I realized that “I must go down to earth.” I was forced to compare the awesome place I just experienced with the complex problems of the reality I had to return to. By doing so, I gained perspective: even though all the problems of life still remained the same, I could be changed.

It’s interesting to me that Jesus gave the important lesson to the disciples as they were coming down the mountain: he must rise from the dead. Prophets go through many sufferings and are treated with contempt. Right after that glorious transfiguration, Jesus knew exactly what was waiting for him. However, he never lost the hope of resurrection.

May we have the wisdom to cherish the moments of mountaintop but also have the courage to “go down the mountain” to continue working for the Kingdom of God on earth.


  1. When was the last time when you had the “mountaintop experience”?

  2. What doest that mean to “go down the mountain” for you? Is there a problem of life that you are called to face today?

Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: Jesus, Name Above All Names

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