I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:3 

Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. Luke 9:35-36 

Many of us hoped for clear skies last Monday so we could see the eclipse – a time when it would get dark in the middle of the day. We were, perhaps, disappointed by the presence of clouds. We often have a negative opinion of clouds – sunshine seems much nicer – even though clouds do bring much needed rain.

In the Bible, we often read of God being associated with clouds. After Noah’s ark lands, there is a rainbow in the clouds, along with a promise from God. When traveling out of Egypt, the people are led by a cloud during the day. God comes in a dense cloud when Moses receives the Ten Commandments, so the people can hear and believe that God is speaking. In Revelation, 1:7 it says that Jesus will return in the clouds.

Our verses from Luke are part of the Transfiguration story. In this case the disciples too are within the cloud and see Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Again God speaks from within the cloud saying that Jesus is His Son. Someone to be listened to. God’s voice is also heard in Isaiah as the prophet relays the message to the people: the God who created everything and has redeemed them is The Lord! The preceding verse includes the message of God’s protection and presence with us always.

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2)

Almighty God, we praise and worship you with the glory due your holy name. Thank you for the compassionate mercy you show us, speaking in words we can hear through Jesus Christ. Lord, you are our true king and the son of God. We know we are to follow your words of love with actions of love. Please help us to listen to your words of wisdom so that we can fulfill the loving purpose you have for our lives on this earthly world. Amen

Chris Gabel