Sunday, March 1, 2015

LENT - Transfiguration Sunday

The journey to the top is not for the fainthearted.

When Peter, James and John climbed the snow-capped Mount Hermon with Jesus so many years ago, skiing was not on the agenda. And yet Jesus in his glory, along with Moses and Elijah, would stand tall together on the heroes' dais.

Moses, of course, had stood high upon a holy mountain before. The venue was Mount Sinai, and it was a 40-day event - complete with sapphire-paved trails, fireworks, an appearance from God himself and a new training handbook including the well known 10 Rules for Spiritual Fitness. He represented law.

Elijah, too, enjoyed iconic status. Contests on Mt. Carmel with 400 contestants and a (w)itchy queen. Confrontations with kings, appointments with angels, mountain-meetings with God featuring earthquakes, wind and fire. And then there's that turbo-charged, upward ride to glory in chariots of fire that left onlookers open-mouthed and shocked. He represented the prophets.

Now they're standing together on another mountain with Jesus, a triad if there ever was one. Jesus was still something of a mystery at this point in time. There were some staggering moments: miraculous victories over hunger, blindness, bleeding, seizures. Those events alone brought Him widespread attention. But He was a quirky hero, telling parables that jarred the crowds, making comments that would make a public relations team squirm, offending those in power.

This trio - Jesus, Moses and Elijah - stood on the mountain in the presence of Peter, James and John, who were stunned to see that it was their Jesus who stood tallest, transfigured before them, taking the gold and gleaming like a star. Who knew? Sure, their leader impressed the crowds, but who could have known that Gospel would outshine the law and the prophets?

Of course, Peter himself attempted to bolt out of the starting gate like a champion, but his strategy to build "three dwelling places" for the triumvirate was an embarrassment. It was only when The Voice From Heaven spoke that Peter stopped in his tracks for a little divine coaching.

The voice of God spoke to all people of all nations with this grand pronouncement: "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!"