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August 28

St Matthew 17, 3 – 4

Something to read

Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, onefor you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’New Revised Standard Version

To read the King James Version, click here

Something to think about

It was probably comforting, as well as awesome, for Peter, James and John to see the great Old Testament figures of Moses and Elijah there with Jesus, people they looked to as their Jewish spiritual ancestors.

Jesus had a radical message, often critical of the religious authorities of the time. But who is the true spiritual successor to the ministries of these great people of God from the past?

Here the disciples are reassured that it is Jesus and the new Kingdom he has come to proclaim – not the empty religious structures that the Judaism of Jesus’ day had become.

Those who as Christians spend more time standing up for the poor than sitting in pews, working for justice and peace than sitting on important church committees, can be criticised for their lack of true spiritual concern, and can sometimes doubt themselves as a result.

But freeing people from slavery puts us in the tradition of Moses, and facing up kings and rulers with their wrongdoing puts us in the tradition of Elijah. It’s all there on that mountain top.

Something to do

Who is your Old Testament inspiration, in relation to your work and concern for the poor and the marginalised in our world today? Make this person your patron saint.

You might not want to make up a ‘shelter’ or shrine for them, but you could make up a small display about their life and actions. Talk about them to other people. Show that you have a true spiritual heritage for what you do.

Something to pray

Father, I know that seeking for justice for the oppressed of today’s world often puts me at odds with today’s religious authorities in terms of the priorities of the Church. Thank you for the record of Scripture, detailing many great godly people from the past. Help me to walk in their shoes.

Today's contributor is JUST LIVING, a fresh expression of church in Devon devoted to the Christian pursuit of justice for the poor and closely linked to Christian Aid.

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