The term majestic comes to mind whenever we think about
mountains, those towering features of the earth’s landscape
that are both beautiful and mysterious. Whether it is Everest or
Kilimanjaro, Ararat or Arenal, Fuji or the Matterhorn, we are
drawn to the mountains because of their height, their glory, their...
Holy God, sometimes we feel like you are shrouded in a cloud like a great mountain. In those moments, give us courage to move into the cloud and abide in your presence. Amen.
In deep deference and careful obedience, Moses enters the zone of God’s glory, which certifies Moses’ authority. Psalm 99 praises the kingship of Yahweh, while bringing to mind the human agents of God’s rule who facilitate Yahweh’s conversation with the people. The Gospel lesson, like Exodus 24, characterizes what is not fully seen or clearly heard. Jesus is taken up into the zone of God’s glory and so is filled with transcendent authority. Speech about glory points to the assignment of new authority. The epistle reading asserts the authority of the true teachers of the church who rightly present and interpret the scriptural tradition.
• Read Exodus 24:12-18. When did you last experience a life-altering encounter with God?
• Read Psalm 99. Have you ever felt that if God really knew you, you would be hopeless? What changed your mind?
• Read 2 Peter 1:16-21. For the epistle writer, the Transfiguration event focuses more on hearing than on seeing. How do you listen for God’s words?
• Read Matthew 17:1-9. What dark places have you seen brightened by Christ’s presence—through you or others?
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