One Shining Moment – Focus Scripture: Matthew 17:1-8
We all know the story. Six days after Jesus foretold of his death and resurrection and Peter recognized that Jesus was the Son of the Living God, Jesus led Peter, James, and John up to a high mountain by themselves. When they arrived at their destination, Jesus was transfigured before their eyes. In one shining moment Jesus is seen as both human and divine, surrounded by light and endorsed by the very voice of God. Jesus’ transfiguration gives the disciples a fleeting glimpse of something that is yet to come.
Can you imagine the scene that day – the voice of the Almighty speaking through the cloud, symbolizing the power and presence of God? So, wondrous was the vision that it had to be shrouded in a cloud to protect the disciples from its splendor. We are told that it was a “bright cloud.” Now, one usually thinks of clouds as being dark and ominous or even wispy and dense. But this cloud was shining, surrounding, and enveloping those who were present with a dazzling brightness almost as if the light were coming from the inside out. Yet isn’t that how the Spirit of God works – from the inside out? How glorious! Yet how mysterious at the same time! No wonder the disciples were amazed and somewhat frightened until Jesus reassured them. In that one shining moment of glory, the disciples were given insight into what was, what is, and what is yet to come. Their earthly bodies would be resurrected and transformed in heaven and those heavenly bodies would be glorious, changed, and made to be just like Jesus.
Sometimes when I am driving back and forth to Evanston from the South Side of Chicago, I listen to a song called “I’m So Glad that Troubles Don’t Last Always”. The song gives me comfort because I know that one day Jesus will lead me up to a high mountain; we’ll be by ourselves on that final journey, no doubt. In the twinkling of an eye, I will have a new body. My weak and broken flesh will be gone. In only an instant, I will have a new life. All the cares of this world that once weighed me down will no longer exist. I won’t be afraid, for I will behold Jesus for who he really is. His face will shine like the sun and he will be clothed in splendor and majesty. In one shining moment, I will be transformed to that image for all eternity. It will be glorious. It will be marvelous. And at the top of that high mountain, my metamorphosis will finally be complete.
Almighty God, thank you for revealing your Son in majesty. Strengthen us by your grace so that we may be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory. In your Holy Name we pray, Amen.