Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain. 2 He was transformed in front of them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.
3 Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here. If you want, I’ll make three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, look, a bright cloud overshadowed them. A voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son whom I dearly love. I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!” 6 Hearing this, the disciples fell on their faces, filled with awe.
7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
Christianity is all about transformation. We’re about the transformation of lives, the transformation of spirits, the transformation of the world. Transformation is at the heart of all we do. It’s in our prayers, our missions, our fellowship, and our worship. In this sermon series we’ve been following, where we are talking about what it means to have a fresh start – particularly in the beginning of this new year, the miracle of transformation is the goal and hope in this season of starting fresh.
In today’s text, we see a recollection of the transfiguration, an important miracle of Christ where His very self is transformed physically before the eyes of some of the disciples. It is an event told by Matthew, Mark and Luke and is about the kingdom of God that is to come – this hopeful, peaceful future we have ahead of us. Jesus’ very appearance changes, but it also symbolizes something very important – that the transformation of the world into the kingdom of God cannot happen until the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Those are pieces of the story that cannot be missed.
What does this tell us? It tells us that transformation does not come without sacrifice. It does not come without heartache and loss and for certain things to come to an end. You cannot have the resurrection without the crucifixion. Often, we can see the life we wish we had, a life where we bask in God’s light, hear the Spirit guiding our every word and movement, and live a life that is a true witness to Jesus our Lord. We hope and long for it. We want to be transformed into it. We want a kingdom life. But in order to have that, there are things that need to come to an end. There are habits and comforts and justifications that need to be put to rest before we can see our spirits pouring fresh, life-giving water.
by Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
The Transfiguration can be an alarming, confusing part of scripture. It can feel out of place and far too extraordinary for us. What Jesus is leading us to, though, is closer to a transformed life, where the light of God that shines through us can transform our very physical selves.
What needs to end in order for a fresh start to begin?
Prayer: Lord of Transformation, You have shown us Your will – for peace and love and justice to be inescapable. Our hope this day rests in You and your miracle of transformation. Help us to start new this day. Amen.