Who Is on Your Billboard? | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
May 2015

Who Is on Your Billboard?

By: Collins Etchi Ako

2After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6(He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) 7Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” 8Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. 9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. - Mark 9:2-9

Mark 9:2-9 reminds me of an incident that occurred some weeks ago when I was scheduled to preach at our local church. For close to three weeks, I had been studying my text, praying for God to speak to me, to deposit a message in me so that I could speak to our church. But nothing was happening.

By Friday evening, I still didn’t have anything to say on Sunday, so I decided to go out for a walk (or should I say, I was led by the spirit to go out for a walk). I got into my sport wear and hit the streets. About fifteen minutes into my walk I came to a standstill in front of a billboard. On the advertizement was a picture of a preacher, his wife and his son. It was hard to tell what the billboard was advertizing but on the bottom, written in small characters, I found the message: it was an evangelization campaign organized by the pastor on the billboard. This billboard is similar to many other billboards on the streets of Yaoundé, advertizing different church programs (or should I say advertizing different pastors). Who is on your billboard?

Peter, James and John, while on the mountain, during the transfiguration, had to make the very important decision about who to place on their billboard. They had been walking with Jesus Christ for some time before the transfiguration incident. They had seen him teach with authority in the Synagogue, heal the leper and a paralyzed person, talk quietness to a storm, walk on water and perform many other miracles. They were overwhelmed by the beauty of the transfiguration and by the importance of the other two guests; Moses and Elijah, such that they completely forget that Elijah and Moses were no longer of this world. In their confusion, they start to plan about building tents for Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Suddenly Moses and Elijah are gone again and Jesus is all alone with the disciples. It dawns on them that they had made the error of placing Moses, Elijah and Jesus, on the same position on their billboard.

We are often tempted to place Jesus Christ on the same level with our intelligence, our competencies, our pastors, our superintendents, our bosses, our social media connections and other God given talents and relationships. As Christians, however, we are called to see Christ at work in our lives at all times and to follow his lead. Does Jesus have to make room with anyone else on your billboard?

Prayer: O God, thank you for the gift of your son Jesus Christ. Thank you for his death and resurrection for the forgiveness of my transgressions. I pray O God that you help me live the presence of Christ in my life, in all I do and at all times. In Christ name I pray. Amen

Discussion questions: What place does Jesus Christ occupy in your life? How do you live the presence of Christ in your life?

See more devotions from Collins and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.