Our scripture this week is Matthew 17:1-9.
Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
Moses was revered by the people of Israel because he was a great leader who taught them God’s law. Elijah was remembered as a great prophet who opposed the worship of idols and called Israel to repent. It was said that they both would return before the kingdom of God would come.
In this passage the three disciples see them talking with Jesus, who is radiant with glory. They were overwhelmed, as we would be, by this occurrence. Peter offers to build three shelters for them, which seems a strange thing to us. What does he hope to accomplish by this?
In the history of Israel it had been customary to build a place for God to meet us. Perhaps that was Peter’s intent. More likely he wanted to keep the wonderful experience going for as long as possible and hoped to keep Jesus, Moses and Elijah there on the mountaintop. We know that God has promised to be with us always, and we can’t contain His presence. We also know He has called us to wonderful moments such as this, but that they are always to prepare us to go back “down the mountain” where our service to Him is needed.
Gracious God, while we are here You give us glimpses of the glory to come when we are in Your presence forever. Help us to continue the work You have for us until the day You call us home. Amen.