Bringing the Text to Life

Four Steps Down the Mountain Matthew 17:1-9

Jesus gave his disciples a four-step method of coping with fear.

Thomas Merton once said that at the root of all war is fear - not so much the fear we have of one another but the fear we have of everything. How right he is. Fear makes all of God's creatures do strange things. Once adrenalin hits the bloodstream, who can predict what ways of fight or flight follow? For example, unlike other bears, grizzlies merit extreme caution from hikers because they have a highly unstable adrenal gland and are "high" on this fight-flight drug most of the time. imagine having your insides - your nerves, stomach and heart - jangling, reeling and pounding all the time like you'd just seen the latest Alien movie. Poor bears! And poor anyone who gets in their way!

The disciples experienced that mouth-drying, heart-thumping, knee-buckling kind of fear on the mountaintop at the Transfiguration. After rejoicing at the presence of Elijah and Moses, they were suddenly reduced to blubbery, quaking jelly by the power and splendor of the voice from above. They could not...

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