Our readings for this Sunday will include Exodus 24:12-18; Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1:16-21 and Matthew 17:1-9 (told in the story time.)
In Exodus and in Matthew, we have people climbing a mountain to get closer to God. Peter refers to the transfiguration event described in Matthew. Unfortunately for me, I was just looking at the transfiguration stories in the first three Gospels and was leaning toward believing that event was really an insertion of a resurrection event into the story of the approach to Jerusalem. I checked two very different translations of 2 Peter, and both translations describe it as a foretaste of what was to come. I don’t know what actually happened, or when, but I am tentatively accepting the story as it is told as about an actual event before the death of Jesus.
The story links tow of the most powerful figures in Jewish history, Moses and Elijah, to the work of Jesus. I don’t know how the disciples could have known their identities, but that question is not really relevant to the meaning of this story.
The transfiguration revealed for the disciples, and for us, more about how special Jesus was. The trust of millions in Jesus because he had a special relationship with God helped and helps them through transformation of their lives, and transformation of society. Our repeated failure to hold on to that holy moment explains in part our repeated failures at letting Jesus lead us through transformation we needed or need. By not holding on, we lose trust, and when we lose trust, we don’t make it through.
I invite you to consider how the story of the transfiguration of Jesus might help you find the courage and trust you need to work through a change you want in your life.