Sunday, February 10, 2013

Transfiguration Sunday

Today’s Scriptures: Lectionary selections from the Revised Common Lectionary Year C

Exodus 34:29-35

Psalm 99

2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2

Luke 9:28-43

Today’s Reflection:

Sometimes, quite unexpectedly, an experience goes from mundane to life-changing and you leave the experience wondering how that happened or what was different. It may happen by attending a concert, hearing a lecture, reading a book. It can even happen during a worship experience in church! One of my experiences happened following an impulse buy of a cd after hearing it mentioned on a music talk-show on the radio. As I like to do – especially with classical music – I put on my headphones and put the music at just the right volume. When the music stopped exactly one hour later, I discovered that I had been sitting there with tears streaming down my face: the music moved me so much that, literally, a flood of joy came pouring out of me. The passages for today recount extraordinary encounters with people and God and the change that came from the encounter.


Being changed through an encounter with God is certainly not unexpected, but while we have been taught to expect some miraculous transformation of our heart, we do not usually consider the physical transformation that comes from God’s proximity. Moses and Jesus both glowed from the encounter with God. It does follow basic physics: objects reflect light. It is how we see: reflected light strikes our eye and is processed by the brain. The Jews believed that anyone who actually saw God would die from the exposure to such power and perfection. They even had difficulty looking at the reflected glow coming from Moses. That glow faded over time the farther Moses (and anyone with a direct encounter with God) moves from the event.


Paul reminds us that we are all able to be in contact with the Lord through the Spirit. Christ forever removed the veil between humankind and God so that we are in his presence and are being changed into the image of God. Not only should our hearts change, our countenances should reflect God’s presence in our lives. When we come in contact with God it is impossible to forget. The experience so completely alters us that nothing is ever the same again.


In the Bible texts today, the Jewish nation and the apostles with Christ saw the transfiguration of an individual following an encounter with God. We remember the transfiguration of Moses and Jesus. We need to focus on the transfiguration of us. Unlike with Moses and Jesus, our glow does not fade. It grows brighter as we are changed into his image through the working of the Holy Spirit. As we end the season of Epiphany, this time of Christ revealed, we learn that the revelation of Christ in the world today is the transfiguration of us into his likeness. With this new understanding, I have to ask: does the world see your glow?

Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.