Sunday’s reading was all about the transfiguration, and it got me to thinking about Peter’s response to the revealed glory of Jesus.
Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Elijah, and one for Moses.(Mark 9:5, NIV)
The classic evangelical take on this is that Peter wanted to prolong the mountain-top experience, and stay there forever. “Let’s build a memorial” – or as one commentator put it “let’s make a theme park!”
I just wonder if something else might have been going on as well. The next verse tells us the disciples were scared witless, and didn’t really know what they were saying – I wonder if Peter was trying to get a handle on things and make a scary situation a bit safer?
What I mean is this – if the transfigured Jesus, and Moses and Elijah were safely installed in their tents, then the disciples would have this holy mountain-top they could come and visit whenever they wanted.
In the meantime, they could go back down the mountain, and pop into the nearest local for a swift half – just to calm the nerves. This would be fine – Jesus could natter with those two for hours, and we’d feel nice and safe and sound knowing that all that glory was going on up the mountain.
Certainly there’s a sense today that Sunday’s might be like this – this is the time we engage with God, perhaps see His glory… but then we can quickly leave Him in his tent – I mean church building – and know he’s there for next week.
Just a thought..