The Story for the
Feast of the Transfiguration
February 14, 2021
prepared by the Rev’d Rhonda Waters
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.
Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Something to Do
Go up a mountain
Why are mountains so often thin places – places where there seems to be less distance between heaven and earth or the mundane and the sacred than usual?
We can’t do any mountain climbing these days but take a look at these Google Earth tours of some of the world’s highest peaks and let your spirit soar.
He did not know what to say
Do you ever find yourself at a loss for words – whether because you are frightened or sad or shy or just overwhelmed? Or perhaps you don’t feel at a loss for words, exactly. Perhaps your experience is more like Peter’s and words – any words – just spill out.
Either way, try silence. The next time you find yourself grasping at words, take a beat and see what you hear when you don’t fill the space with your own voice.
Something to Wonder
Elijah with Moses were talking with Jesus
What a gift this moment was for Jesus – a visit with two great ancestors upon whose teaching Jesus himself stood.
Who are the ancestors whose teaching has shaped you? These might be literal ancestors, as in family members, or they might be ancestors in your professional or political or spiritual life.
How have they shaped you? In what ways have you drawn on and expanded their teachings in your own life?
…and he was transfigured before them
Seeing someone you love transformed is itself a transformative experience. Peter, James, and John came down that mountain different people than who they were when they went up it.
How do you think they were changed?
Have you ever witnessed a transformation (probably one that took more time than this one)? How did it change you?
Something to Learn
The Politics of Bedazzlement
This is a wonderful (and brief) essay by Mark Davis on the transfiguration and our compulsion to put words on everything.
In the narrative of Mark’s gospel, Jesus’ journey to his cross in Jerusalem is interrupted by the incredible event of his Transfiguration. Peter’s rush to speech is characteristic of our frequent over-reliance upon words to process and respond to things that demand our silence and our wonder.
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.