Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. [NRSA: Mark 9:2-9]
- “Transfiguration Sunday
- February 14, 2021
- Video: TBA
The Peacock is a symbol the church has used to help us remember the transformation of weaving past, present and future from the lumpy and clumsy first appearance that is revealed as the peacock spreads its wings. We are called to sharing THAT story with the world.
Many different passages in scripture it is important to see ourselves in the context of the disciples or crowd. This gives us the view as a participant. This verse is different.
It is the turning point in which Jesus shifts his focus from expanding the reach of his ministry and begins heading toward the cross. Each year it is a helpful time to mark this transition as we begin our journey toward Easter.
We listen to the account of Jesus’s Spiritual nature being revealed and we see through the eyes of others who have seen. And so it is for us today, we see through the witnesses of those who have gone before us. We see through the witness of the church. We see through the lives of those who have experienced the true nature and full awareness of Jesus. We come with questions, doubts, and uncertainties.
What do we hear from accounts of Disciples, who shared what they heard from God, about Jesus, for our behalf. But it is an account that only a few who are hopely more mature in the faith to know Jesus so plainly.
The remarkable and unbelievable parts of the encounter on the mountain top of Mt Tabor were the witnessing of Moses and Elijah, talking with God, and the even more impressive booming declaration of God’s voice, and then silence.
Peter sees the miraculous events of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, and thinks he has the best response: Let’s make three alters so crowds of people can come to this spot and worship. God’s response is to listen now, and not get ahead of God’s revealing in the past, present, and future of this holy moment.
But what do we make of this account?
This is where the story is also ours to hear and join. God work in Christ is to reveal the connections for our past, present, and futures, and our response is to see, experience, understand, be blessed, and trust, not to get ahead of God’s plan.
In summary of the day on Mt Tabor:
- Jesus comes to reveal God’s glory
- Jesus fulfills the work of the Law and the Prophets
- Jesus is the Son of God
- Jesus is to be trusted, believed, and followed.
I have ascended this mountain. I have been to this church. I have seen the multiple alters. I have been to the gift shop.
Geographically it sits in the middle of a plane that is surrounded by mountain, but it a singular light set on a lamp stand in the region.
What makes this moment special is not what happened on Mt Tabor, but to weave together all the roads and mountain top experiences that lead to Mt Calvary.
The take away for this passage calls for a time apart for us to rewind the moments of our own faith journey and single out the people who have taught us the word, the law, the rules, the guidelines and commandments. To list those who have revealed the living presence of God and those who have helped us piece together our own faith journey and see that the one event that holds us together is united in the cross and the empty tomb.
Mark recalls Jesus using a series of “don’t tell anyone” to contrast the news of the empty tomb, which the disciples are instructed to “tell everyone”!
- We live as those who have heard God’s call to trust, be not afraid, to proclaim the Good News!
- We live has those who have the story of the cross etched in our view of our human experience.
- We are the ones who have see Christ transform lives and make our lives filled with joy, hope, and love.
- We are NOT instructed to keep quiet
- We are NOT told to wait
- We ARE called to lives as those TRANSFORMED by Christ
That our living reflects God’s Grace and Love.
It only take 5 minutes to see where we have blurred the lines of Christ in our lives with the world around us in a quest to be right or wrong, left or right, in our out, where we are called to belong to Christ, in the world but not of the world.
The world debates whether people are self identifying themselves by their own choice, and the Church is actually called to recognize and share that we are all nothing with Christ.
- We live in a world that some value when we are ‘self-made’ men and women.
- Others long for the government to define who we are and what we are supposed to be and do.
- God tells Jesus and Disciples to be transformed by God’s power, sacrifice, and resurrection.
What are we to do with this passage: Remember our journey is not over. We have time to allow Christ to more fully transform our hearts, minds, our work and rest, our families and enemies, the church, community, and world. The call to follow Christ as our hope and salvation is clear. Q: Are we clear in that purpose with our lives?
If not, today is a day of confession and a prayer for strength
If so, today is a day to invite others to join in God’s ongoing work thorugh us.
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