Luke 9:28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 36 When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
Moses and Elijah were two of the central leaders of Israel’s past. Any good Jew would have great respect for them both, which is important despite the fact that Luke was writing to a mostly Gentile audience. The fact that they are bearing witness to Jesus with their presence and discussion of his departure is a big deal.
I’ve been in my current call as senior pastor of Rejoice for five years as of August 1st, a time in which there’s been a lot of change. There are many new people here, in part because Dallas/Ft. Worth is a growing area. Lots of people are moving into the north suburbs all the time. And, of course, having a new senior leader to go along with lots of new church members means we’re becoming a new church altogether. What exists today is not the Rejoice of 2013.
To me “new” is good, but that’s not true of everyone. Thus, there are many former members who have moved on – some because of natural transitions like relocations, but others because this is no longer a church they feel called to be part of. I don’t like that, but I get it. Things change and people move on. I never try to talk people out of leaving. By the time they’re making it known they intend to move on, that decision is pretty firm. No sense in fighting it.
That said, I also understand that voices of long-time church members are important. They bear witness to our past while helping us navigate our way into the future. Moses and Elijah remind me of that today.
Heavenly Father, teach me to listen to voices from the past. They are a gift and treasure to us. Amen.