By Pastor Suzanne Clemenz
Scripture: Luke 9: 28-36
In our church calendar, today is known as the day of the Transfiguration of our Lord. In the Protestant calendar, this day falls on the Sunday before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. In my preparation this week as I studied this passage, a scholar observed that this is one of the most mysterious and elusive passages in the gospels. It is quite a surreal scene, isn’t it? Our gospel passage for today describes the mountaintop experience of three of the disciples when they went up a mountain with Jesus to pray. While Jesus is praying, he is transformed, or transfigured, in the presence of God. He appears dazzling white, and two figures – Moses, the leader of the Israelites, and Elijah the prophet – are with him, the three are talking together, and they all have this glowing or ethereal presence, and the three disciples are awestruck. They have no idea what to make of what they have seen or heard. Peter, feeling the need to do or say something, says, hey, this is awesome, let’s build something, make something, so we can remember this, so there’s a place for all three of you. Then a cloud surrounds them and a voice says, this is my Son, listen to him, and Moses and Elijah vanish. So the disciples take in this magnificent scene with wonder, and then they’re kind of dumbfounded, and they don’t say a word to anyone about it. The very next verses in the chapter depict Jesus and the disciples down from the mountain, going to heal a troubled boy. The mountaintop scene isn’t spoken about again.
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