Where’s Your Tent?
Where are you building your tent? Not building a tent, you say? I bet you are.
This Sunday we come to the account of the Transfiguration. This is always the lesson for the last Sunday before we begin the season of Lent. Click here to read it from Matthew’s Gospel.
Matthew tells us that Peter, James and John went up the mountain with Jesus, thinking they were joining Jesus for some prayer. But much to their surprise, they had a vision of Jesus transfigured, and talking with Moses and Elijah, two of the great figures from Jewish history. In response to this “mountaintop” experience, Peter jumped up to build tents (sometimes translated “dwellings” or “booths”). It was his way of holding on to this great experience — this moment of gazing into heaven.
We do the same thing. We may not literally try to build tents, but we do try to hold on to some experience that was especially meaningful to us. There is nothing wrong with remembering, in fact much of our faith is about remembering what God has done for us. But when we try to hold onto some past experience, not moving on to the new thing that God may have in store for us, we make Peter’s mistake.
There are many questions we might ask ourselves as we begin the season of Lent, but at least one question could be “Where do I have a tent?” What are the memories of my faith life that I am trying to hold on to, rather than be strengthened by? What past experiences in my faith hold me back as I try to recapture them, rather than spur me on in greater life and service?
This column appeared in the February 23, 2020 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
If you are reading this at a different time, you may click here for the current eNews.