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. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He said to them, “Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.” Mark 9:2-13
Arrived yesterday afternoon in the Texas lowlands for the House of Bishops meeting. Many of us are hoping for a transformation, a new experience, a moment that move us forward and together. Each new Presiding Bishop brings great new gifts to encourage our faith and mission. I pray that we can listen and welcome the Holy Spirit into our midst in a true and deep way. There is much to rejoice in and much to be anxious about in the days to come.
Peter, James and John were eye witnesses to the true vision of the realm of God. They went up the mountain and saw their friend changed to his true self, surrounded by his true family and they were dazzled, ecstatic and terrified. This vision would strengthened them for the days to come, but also confound them when the true presence of God seemed so far away in the following days and weeks. We all want mountaintop experiences, and we also know we cannot stay on the mountain.
Today I ask God to help me be ready for new vision and to give me the strength and faith to live that vision out. May we rejoice in our transforming moments and integrate them into our daily lives so that others may share in the true presence of the living God.