I love this last Sunday's gospel story. Jesus and three disciples climb up a mountain where he is changed into this heavenly figure who is glowing, almost shimmering. Can't you just see it. To make it even better Jesus is talking to Moses and Elijah. We don't know what the conversation is about but that is unimportant. Moses symbolizes the law and Elijah represents the prophets. Jesus represents the fulfillment of both the law and the prophets. Then, as if this wasn't magical enough, a booming voice speaks from a cloud saying, “this is my son of whom I am well pleased.” The disciples are shaking in their boots.
Then, Jesus touches them saying, its OK, their all gone.
Why did this happen. I think I know. I think Jesus wanted to reveal to these three men who he was and stress for them the importance of his mission. He was there to fulfill the law and fulfill the prophecy and they were shown it was all being done with God's blessing.
In our bible study last Tuesday we were asked, “What would you think if you were there as well. We stumbled through that question and I really don't have much of an idea what my response would have been. It might have been something like “holy mackerel” or worse. Think about this for yourselves. What would have been your response? I am sure it would have been a life changing moment.
This Sunday is called Transfiguration Sunday because of this story. It is also the last Sunday before Lent. Lent for Christians is a time of self-examination. We think about the path we are on. We think about how we could maybe do things differently.
When I was a child I was expected to give up something for lent. I always gave up candy and pop. I am sure my dentist, Doc. Kelly, would have been happy about that. He probably would have liked for me to brush my teeth better as well. I was pretty good at giving those things up. The thing about lent though was that Sundays in lent were a free day so I could go off my fast on those days.
I don't really give up anything for lent anymore. Now, I make a pledge to do something. It may be to visit with people I know in the nursing home. It could be taking the first steps in developing a chaplaincy program at our local hospital. There are all kinds of things I could do.
I believe that during this time of lent, we can all take steps in changing something for the
better in our lives. It won't be as dramatic as Jesus transfiguration. However it can be the first steps in a transformation that changes who we are and how we affect others lives.