UP FROM THE SLOUGH

The words of the Gospel for this 2nd Sunday in Lent are so tragically foreign to us in this culture, in these times.

transf

“After six days….Jesus took Peter, James, and John…..and went up to the top of the mountain….where He was transfigured…before their eyes….”    From about 50 A.D.  to about 1950 A.D.  we’ve had good teachings which delve into the supernatural and spiritual meanings of this event.  Such teachings are able to nourish our souls and help sanctify our lives

We can still find these teachings, but we live in a difficult world today.   We live in a darkened, cynical, wicked, despairing world.    If the Transfiguration occurred on a mountain top,  we live today in a polluted moral pigsty that depresses our souls, our minds, our emotions, and our hopes.

We live in a slump.   A swamp.   A slough.   The Slough of Despond.

trans slough

The phrase is, of course, taken from a classic piece of English literature.    To know this literary work is to understand much about the greatness our country was known for.    No need to avoid it because of your politics or religion;  it transcends both.  This literary masterpiece is the allegory called Pilgrim’s Progress.

And the Slough of Despond affects us all and we need to climb out of it or else we will be destroyed, painfully.

“After six days…”   The six days of Creation gave us a beautiful world with many delights that link us to the power and glories of our Creator.   After our Fall and the pollution of our souls and our world,  the Gospel news is an even more beautiful link to our Creator-Redeemer.

So, in the Gospel today,  “after six days” we are asked to ascend upward with Jesus and to see Him no more as a man, a great prophet and teacher, but to see Him in His glory, as we move our minds from this physical world upward to the spiritual world that exists around us.

transf mt

There is Mt. Tabor in the distance, where the Transfiguration likely happened.  It seems so far away to our eyes, in the distant misty horizon — yet it exists!   It’s worth the mental effort and the spiritual climb.  It will enliven and then nourish our souls, and prepare us for a happy future life everlasting.

We’ve become familiar and comfortable with the life below, on the plains in front of the mountain, but there is a consequence:  that’s where the Slough of Despond is — and the name of those plains is Megiddo.

Where the battle of Armageddon will be fought.

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