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Today we read about the transfiguration of Jesus on the Mount of Olives. Tom Wright points out that Jesus did not fit the mold of what it meant to be Israel’s Messiah. Many hoped that he might be the Messiah that rescued them but he acted in such a way that made it very hard to believe.
There is a Christ that the disciples wanted, and there is a Christ that was. They were not necessarily the same Christ.
Just as the disciples had to be shaken out of their false notions of who Jesus was by an awesome and astonishing display of God, I too need to be woken up to the true nature of Jesus and of God.
You see the god I want is a god who values above all else my comfort and happiness.
There is a god I want and there is a God that is. They are not the same God.
Lent is a time where we confront our false notions of God as one who exists for our comfort. In the giving up of our comforts and addictions we come closer to recognising the God who suffered temptation, who was thirsty, who was weak and broken.
God does not exist to make me happy. Lent is a brief window where I’m wracked by coffee withdrawal, where I meditate on my sins and offer them to God. At Lent, in my discomfort and temptation, I am closer to the God that is. Lent is my Mount of Olives experience, where God reveals Jesus as the Christ! At Lent I make the long climb up the mountain with my “buddy Christ” and before my eyes he is revealed in all his splendour as the one who creates and sustains his creation; the one who will one day redeem ALL of it (of which I am a part).