We’ve arrived at this last Sunday of Epiphany, the Sunday when we are annually reminded of the moment that a handful of the disciples are witness to a change in Jesus’ appearance. This change in Jesus’ appearance on that mountain top was about more than simply looking different, it was about recognizing something fundamental in his character and being. It was seeing God reflected in him.
As we also happen to be lifting up the ministry of our preschool program this week, it also seemed fitting to pair this transfiguration text against another moment when Jesus is asking the disciples to transform their own way of being. Jesus invites the disciples, after listening to two of them argue about who was the greatest along a journey, to consider who is really the greatest and how that should transform their entire conversation.
It can be far too easy to hear of Jesus’ transfigured appearance and the mystical experience on the mountaintop and have Matthew 17 feel like something unique to Jesus being who he is. But what if we are all invited to be transfigured as he is? To have our appearance visibly alter in ways that are obvious to others, to be shaped into ones who can reveal God in the world. Our journey of transformation sometimes asks us to see ourselves clearly first – to recognize how our outward ways of being would be seen by another. Not am I dressed well-enough, am I presentable, but instead what message does our demeanor send. How are our actions speaking louder than our words?
Are we being visibly transformed by our relationship with God?
Or are we stuck at what is already comfortable for us?
Do we not really want to be pushed toward a new place?
How could we enter into a transfiguration transformation of our own?
Join us on Sunday!