Thursday's Thought for Sunday's Service
February 23, 2017
This week’s Thursday’s Thought for Sunday’s Service is based upon Matthew 17:1-9:
“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”” (Matthew 17:1–9, NIV)
This Sunday we celebrate the transfiguration of our Lord. “Transfiguration” is a big five syllable word. What does it mean?
We can contextualize by understanding from a different perspective. For example, one might think of first graders observing over the course of several days, how a cocoon is transfigured into a beautiful butterfly.
In much the same way, we see transfiguring changes across all aspects of nature.
Once a child witnesses this miracle of nature or some other kind of physical transformation, he or she becomes a persuasive voice in sharing that experience with others. So too, the transformation that occurred within Christ became a physical, poignant, persuasive experience for the disciples. Thus, they gave an energetic witness to what they saw. In our experience, the more we become convinced of our faith, the more our witness of Christ also becomes energized.
Words of faith and actions of discipleship affect others. So, are we convinced in our faith? Are we connecting with the touchstones of Christ’s teaching? Perhaps spiritual questions, penetrating as they are, can never be quite definitively or finally answered, except at death. But for the here and now, a simple trust in God’s words may be enough especially as they point to who Jesus is in the physical realm.
Since ancient times we’ve come to experience God in many ways, including through nature, relationships with others, and the unexplainable physical / spiritual experiences of Jesus. How ever we come to trust in God’s way of persuading, teaching, and leading, “Help us, O Lord, to see within your transfiguration that through our temporality we are able to share as those who are affirmatively anticipating your confirming, counselling, presence.”
humble not proud.
And in the stillness of night
with unknown might
comes a blinding light
and with a shout
erases any doubt.
Pastor Rich Wagner