Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
Yesterday was Alaska, which is a big deal here in Sitka. This was the place of the actual transfer of the territory from Russia to the United States government in 1867. It is a state holiday and our normally more sleepy town is transformed into a crowded Mardi Gras type atmosphere for several hours. It had rained before the parade and ceremonies but the skies clear and a rainbow smiled upon us. This morning. waking up, I witnessed the first hard frost and our world is transformed again, two days in a row before my very eyes.
Jesus went up the mountain with Peter, James and John for prayer by themselves. While Jesus prayed the others slept which, at this point, seems to be pretty routine for the fishermen made disciples. The world around them changes, though, and they glimpse the divine and eternal Jesus with the ancestors. The have a vision of a reality they cannot see and the world is forever changed for them. They did not tell the story until later, when it made more sense to them. Not for fear but for timing and understanding, did Jesus ask them to keep silent. Some day, the visions we have today, these glimpses of another world, of another more divine and eternal will make be made complete somehow. For now, God invites us to take in all the wonders before us and know that with every change and season, God is making love more grounded, more permanent and more complete day by day.
Today, may we celebrate the life we have been given, however humbled and burdened it might be. May we give thanks and be grateful as the seasons change, celebrating the bounty and visions we have received and opening our hearts to the insights ahead. Despite our aches and pains, the discomfort of growth and change, may we see beyond this summit to know we are being made more and more in the image of God, more and more grounded in love.