That was the refrain in a Bob Dylan song years ago. Here is a link to listen to it if you are not familiar with it. http://youtu.be/vCWdCKPtnYE
The song became an anthem of the protests in the 1960s. Many people today feel we are in a similar era of change with the Arab Spring, the financial crises in various countries, and the recession/depression in the U.S., among other things. As always, there are some who think we are in "the last days" - the days before Christ returns.
I don't know if we are in the last days or not. But we are definitely in our last days because we only have a certain number of days left to each of us. Perhaps the question we should ask ourselves is, "Are we making the most of our last days?"
Another aspect of changing times is deciding how much we ourselves will change. Do we decide to live a simpler lifestyle in times of economic distress? Do we try to give more to others who are in need? Do we read more Scripture? Pray more often?
Perhaps even more importantly, how do we resist the negative changes in society? Have you written to an advertiser who supports a TV program that you think is inappropriate? Have you written your congressional representatives or state legislators about particular bills or issues?
The times they are a-changin'. What are you doing with your last days?
We've been looking at the glory of God. In Exodus 34, verse 29 it states, "When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord."
Although the Scriptures speak of Moses as one who spoke to God face to face, Moses never saw God's face. He spoke to God as if they were face to face in a regular conversation, and he got to see the back of God after he passed by, but he didn't see God's face.
The glory of God was reflected on Moses in his radiant face. I've always thought that the haloes that painters put in pictures over the heads of holy people were their way of showing that those people's faces were radiant with the glory of God.
A couple of reflection questions today. Do you speak to God in conversation as if you are face to face? If so, I hope you write down what God says to you.
Have you seen people whose faces are radiant with the presence of God? Or, have people told you that your face is radiant?
God called Moses up to Mt. Horeb in the Sinai, also known as Mt. Sinai. Exodus 24 records it this way, "When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights."
It's hard to imagine how something that looks like a consuming fire from the ground could actually be a cloud, unless the Israelites thought the cloud indicated there was a fire up there somewhere. If it looked like a fire, Moses had to be brave to go up there, even if God was calling.
In any event, we have the glory of God looking like a cloud and looking like a consuming fire. Fire and cloud are both signs of God's glory and guidance in Exodus (see Exodus 3:1 and 14:19). And, as in our last post, it is another occasion when the voice of God came from a cloud.
So our question today is, how do you see God's glory or hear God's call?
Transfiguration, disfiguration, configuration, reconfiguration. I don't know how many different forms of that root word there are. As I started to write something about transfiguration, I wondered about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, and what some consider to be disfiguration, others consider to be beauty or transfiguration, and vice versa.
I am thinking about transfiguration, because today is the feast of the Transfiguration in the Catholic Church. The Transfiguration is the moment when Jesus goes up on a mountain to pray and is transformed before the eyes of three of his disciples - Peter, James and John. Jesus dazzles their eyes. His face and clothes shine like the sun. Then Elijah and Moses (two Old Testament prophets) appear with Jesus and talk with him. Next a cloud comes over all of them and the disciples hear a voice from the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." (This is recorded in Mark 9, Matthew 17 and Luke 9.) The Transfiguration, the appearance of Elijah and Moses, and the voice from the cloud frightened the three disciples.
Jesus' transfiguration was frightening to them, just as a disfiguration might be frightening to someone. But Jesus' transfiguration was meant to show his glory. We'll talk more about the glory in the next few days, but for today - have you ever experienced God's glory? Has Jesus revealed himself to you? If Jesus has not revealed himself to you, ask him to do so today.
Here in the DC area the government folks desert the region for vacations elsewhere and we enter those "dog days of summer." It's hard to believe, but there is less traffic here during August. Not much seems to get done. All the entries on Facebook are vacation pictures or grumbles about the heat. Phone calls go to voicemail and emails prompt automatic replies. Fewer people are Tweeting.
But - God is not on vacation where we are concerned. Yes, he may be at the beach (probably is), or in the mountains (there too), but his calls don't go to voicemail and his emails don't prompt automatic replies. Thank God!
God is always there whether we think we need him or not. Don't forget to call.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.