I have a friend who sometimes says after tasting some delicious food, “This is heaven.” In our lives, we sometimes have little tastes of heaven. A wonderful vacation in the mountains, a cool swim after a hot day, a wonderful meal, a close intimate time with someone we love. Tastes of heaven are those wonderful times when for no occasion somebody gives us a gift, an old friend calls us or sends us an email, our boss says what a good job we are doing, our teacher compliments our school work, Grandma sends an unexpected check. These moments can give us a little idea of what the total goodness and glory of God are like. They can be life-giving, refreshing and encouraging.
In the Gospel, Peter, James and John were given a big taste of heaven (Matthew 17:1-9). On the top of Mt. Tabor, for a few moments, they experienced Jesus in his brilliant, dazzling glory. The experience was so wonderful, they never wanted it to end. They wanted to put up three tents and live forever on that mountain top. They were given a vision of what the transforming glory of Jesus would be like after he rose from the dead. Not only were they given this glimpse into the future, from the moment they received the vision, they could carry it within them. It was this vision of glory which pulled them through the suffering and crosses of their lives.
As disciples of Jesus, we look forward to sharing fully in God’s glory. The wonderful reality is that, like the apostles on Mt. Tabor, we already carry this glory within us because of Jesus’ resurrection. Heavenly glory is already planted within us. Like a seed planted in the earth, we are occasionally surrounded by darkness. The darkness of sin and its consequences. The good news is that the glory of God is more powerful than sin and it breaks through in the transforming moments of our lives. The glory of God planted in us can bring to others a taste of what God’s glory is like through our actions of encouragement, compassion and reconciliation. What are you doing for Lent this year? How about bringing a little taste of heaven to others and to the world? Wow, this could be some Lent!
Together in faith,
The Very Rev. Christopher Smith, rector