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On the Mountaintop

"The Transfiguration" by Raphael
Have you ever experienced sensory overload? I have told you before about flying over the Alps in a helicopter. I was sitting in the front passenger seat and had glass all around me, including under my feet. There was so much beauty to see, it was almost too much to take in. That was a sensory overload for the eyes. Like many of you, I attended my share of rock concerts when I was young. I remember standing by a huge bank of speakers and just reveling in the sensory overload of sound. I imagine my hearing has never been the same since. When I was nine years old my parents took me on a trip to San Francisco. While we were there we enjoyed a meal at an Italian restaurant that used to supply Mickey Cohen’s food for him while he was incarcerated on Alcatraz. Because we were friends of Mickey, the Paolis treated us like royalty. We didn’t order anything off the menu. They just brought us one dish after another to try. There must have been seven course…
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Counting the Cost

There are many great goals in life that are never achieved simply because people are not willing to pay the price. I suppose that for some, following Jesus is like that. Some are not willing to give Jesus a try because the cost seems too high. So what exactly does it cost to follow Jesus? That is a question not explicitly stated in our text for today, but our text does, I think, suggest an answer. Listen for God’s word to you from Mark 8:31-38…. Then he [Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” 34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let …