Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” Matthew 17:1-9
When I think of the transfiguration, I cannot help but think of my sister Pegi. She was battling cancer and I flew down to Miami to be with her and my folks during her surgery which proved to be her last. I was newly ordained, walking the halls of an unfamiliar hospital, feeling completely lost. I finally found her room, and stood at the door, watching my parents, one on each side of her, as she sat up in bed, her beauty radiating from under her bald head. I knew she was going to die, and I knew she was going to be all right. My parents, like two pillars of faith were beacons of hope and promise despite the circumstances.
The transfiguration of Jesus happens at a pivotal moment. From this point on he is heading to Jerusalem and his death. This is the last Sunday of Epiphany and next Sunday we will be deep in the season of Lent. In the midst of this moment comes a vision and a promise. The three disciples see the loving relationship that God has with the saints of the past and promises that to us as well. Despite the circumstances ahead we are offered a vision of hope and promise. God invites us to enter this time with hope, knowing there is more love and life to come than we can imagine today.
Today I ask God to help me hold onto the vision of hope and love. May we understand our circumstances and trials as temporary, knowing that we are loved by God and held firmly in God's hands.