Worship, community, power, and the “secret identity” of Jesus

Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain where they were alone. He was transformed in front of them, and his clothes were amazingly bright, brighter than if they had been bleached white. Elijah and Moses appeared and were talking with Jesus. Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good that we’re here. Let’s make three shrines—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He said this because he didn’t know how to respond, for the three of them were terrified.

attending church in Henderson Sunday

The longer I live the less credence I give coincidence. Case in point: Rebekah and I spent this past week on the mountainside, including a day on the mountaintop, and then we completed the short week of study leave by attending church together in Henderson. The scripture – of course – was Mark’s story of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration… hence my issue with the idea of coincidence.

There Jesus was, shining resplendent in dazzling glory. The preacher said the three disciples got to see the Lord as he really was… and then Jesus came down from the mountain. The experience on the mountain may have offered a glimpse beyond, but the deeper truth about Immanuel, God’s character and nature, is revealed most clearly when Jesus comes off the mountain.

You see, Christ’s life as a servant is not an alias, not a misdirect, not a ruse, not God’s undercover disguise – instead, “Humble Servant” actually is his secret identity.

Faithful in Worship:

solar-suck-up-the-sunThe other thing that’s important is the fact Rebekah I were in worship. Believe it or not, we actually heard someone say, “But Rebekah’s a preacher, and she’s on leave, why on earth are you in church?” Hello! We’re talking about worship, we’re talking about God here! I don’t care if you’re a teenager in school, a business-owner, retired, a stay at home parent, or the pastor of a large congregation, the choice to spend an hour or so in church on a Sunday morning is a simple decision with deep implications.

It’s not just that we enjoy church, and like singing hymns, and “get something” out of the messsage, it’s that the desire to worship – in community – and the way that worship nurtures, feeds, and sustains us, is fundamental to our experience as conscious children of God.

By “conscious” I mean aware. We’re all God’s children, irrespective of our response to that fact.

Yesterday, driving north on 1-A, making our way to worship, Rebekah and I passed a huge field filled with solar panels, an “array” that generates power. Grouped together in that way, turning their “faces” toward the sun, the panels receive, reflect, store, and generate power in a way that is not possible in isolation.

At WFPC, at our campus on Capital Boulevard, coming together many times a week to pray, sing, listen, study, serve, encourage, reach out, and so much more, the faith community we’re committed to serves as a kind of array. We receive, we reflect, we store, and we generate.

Pastor or not, Rebekah and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.


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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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