What does it mean to ‘be transfigured‘? Dictionary definition goes something like this: to be transformed into something better, beautiful, ethereal … other-worldly. Since transformation basically means the process of change, (hopefully for the better), transfiguration kicks change up to a whole new level.
And we are concerned about this today because? On this second Sunday of Lent our Gospel reading delved into the transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9:2-10.) Jesus took three of His disciples – Peter, James & John – up on a mountaintop where He ‘transfigured before them.’ His clothes turned dazzling white –and then highly venerated Old Testament prophets Elijah and Moses joined Him.
Peter was afraid (!) but immediately moved into worship mode by offering to build three tents (remember God dwelt in a tent for the wandering Israelites & Moses.) Before they could get started, they heard a voice saying, “This is My Beloved son. Listen to Him.”
This morning Fr. James Glass highlighted the fact that Jesus clothes turned so white they dazzled the eyes. Just like the Ten Commandments, when Moses came down Mt. Sinai his face was so bright he had to cover it.
So, to, for us. Fr. Glass said: “When the spirit of God is in you, the Light of God will shine through you.” Big Lent challenge: how much are we letting the light of God shine in us? Is the love of God so bright in our hearts it dazzles others with compassionate grace?
Tradition holds the Transfiguration happened on Mount Tabor. Today i read a devotional account of a priest who visited Mt. Tabor & had a ‘mountain top experience’ spiritually (& literally) that stayed with him all his life. My experience was also unforgettable – while driving the narrow way to the top, a crazy taxi driver almost ran us off the road. I was mad & frazzled by the time we reached our destination (my boss in Jerusalem frequently told this fiery red head, “Virginia, go stand in front of the fan!”)
But on that visit to Mt. Tabor, i did take this picture.
Kinda dazzling. A reminder of God’s grandeur & transfiguring grace … that can change our ‘mads’ and ‘frazzles’ into peace & joy on the mountaintops and also in the valleys where everything seems dreary & gray.
Glimpses of God’s transfiguring glory are all around us – beautiful waterfalls, the Grand Canyon, waves crashing on the beach, trees in the moonlight… listening to music that transports our spirits.. seeing a baby’s face… witnessing joy in our loved ones faces (i remember my father’s face when, despite constant pain he suffered 24/7, we made him laugh – or he made us laugh!)
Just yesterday while dashing out for birthday errands, a bluebird crossed Rt.5 right in front of my car. A BLUEBIRD on a snowy day… (we are bluebird groupies in this house!)
Back to transformation. It’s great to let glimpses of God’s glory around us move our hearts in wonder & awe & gratitude. We also need to “listen to Jesus” – to open our hearts to the transfiguring power of His love that changes us. Radically.
Mad & frazzled? … but dazzled by Jesus Christ Who transfigures our hearts with love’s pure healing light.
grace, peace & Transfiguring LIGHT
Virginia : )