Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” —not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
Where is my mountaintop?
Moses went up to the mountaintop and when he came down his face was shining because he had been talking to the Lord. Jesus went to the mountaintop and he had a brilliant countenance while he prayed. So, what about me. What about you. I want to have an experience like that and I imagine you do too.
Is this kind of divine experience only for the select few like Moses? I don't think so. I believe we can all be transformed. I believe the experiences we have in our lives continue to move us and guide us. I just returned last week from a visit to Salt Lake City. I had experiences there that I am sure changed me in subtle ways. I may not have had a glowing, dazzling white face when I got off the plane in Des Moines but I am pretty sure my heart was warmed. I met people who really wanted to talk about their spiritual lives and their spiritual journeys. Our grandchildren let me know that I was loved and I could clearly see God's reflection in them. It changed me.
To transfigure is to change. Jesus was changed in appearance to a dazzling white but he wasn't the only one changed on that mountain. John, James and Peter were changed as well. It would not be possible to have that kind of experience on the mountaintop and not see your world differently. It was living proof to John, Peter and James that Jesus of Nazareth was everything people said he was.
What kinds of transformitive experiences have you had in your life? Was it a person or a place or maybe a book full of ideas? Share with me. It is rare when transformation takes place in the spectacular, bowl me over way the disciples experienced it but the effect can still be profound.
Here is mine. My family and I had just moved to Wyoming to an underground house overlooking the Platte river valley and the Laramie range in the background. I felt like it was a fresh start. A few days after settling in a gentleman came by to talk to me about a food co-op they were starting in the city. We talked for quite a while and we each shared abbreviated versions of our stories. He was a very nice gentleman. He told me that he was the minister at the local Episcopal church in town and I was welcome to come. I promptly said no and that I had had my fill at a Catholic boarding school. He replied that the Episcopal church was a lot like the Catholic church without the guilt.
I thought about it and decided to give it a try. I never left. I was spiritually changed. Two weeks ago I talked about the book “When God Winks”. I encourage you to always be ready for that inspirational moment when God gives you a chance to spiritually grow.