Peter, John, and James have accompanied their friend and teacher up the mountain for time apart. Jesus wants to pray—to be with the One who has sent him. He also senses the need to bring these companions. No doubt we have this story of what happens on that mountain because of those three. At some point, they told of the wonder they had beheld.
In the depths of prayer, the uncreated light of life shines forth from Jesus. That light has been there all along. But now, in this moment on the mountain, the three disciples receive the stunning gift of seeing the truth of their friend’s being. They see his glory. Their eyes are filled with divine radiance. Their skin is warmed by this phenomenal light.
They are invited to receive this gift of revelation, and they are transfigured by wonder. The events on the mountain shift their perceptions. Yes, this is Jesus their teacher. Yes, this is Jesus their friend. Yes, this is the companion who has told them stories over dinner. And Jesus is also the Anointed One. He is also the One for whom the whole world longs, for whom we are created.
The change in Jesus’ face, a face that is loving and compassionate, will remain in the disciples’ memory. As they remember and feed on the memory, they will also be changed. Each one, in his own way, will be led to serve in love. Each one, in his own way, will shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory. And so will we.
Beloved, we give thanks for the splendor of your light, the abundant generosity of your life, the stunning strength of your love. May we mirror your glory as we walk in your way. Amen.
God’s glory is always revealed, even if never completely. When Moses encounters God on the mountain, his face undergoes a physical transformation as a reflection of God’s greater glory. The psalmist reminds us of how great God is and how even Moses and Aaron bow before God’s throne. Paul refers to the story of Moses, but because of Christ, God’s glory is now more openly revealed. There is no need to wear a covering as Moses did, for Christ reflects openly the divine radiance. Luke recounts the Transfiguration, when the face of Jesus, like that of Moses, begins to shine. God’s voice reinforces the revelation of the Transfiguration, declaring Jesus to be God’s Son and the revelation of God’s glory.
Read Exodus 34:29-35. Consider the ways you provide evidence of your faith. Do you display it for your glory or for God’s?
Read Psalm 99. How do you seek a healthy balance of awe and intimacy in your relationship with God?
Read 2 Corinthians 3:12–4:2. What “veil” separates you from God—a sense of unworthiness, a hardened heart, a lack of understanding?
Read Luke 9:28-43a. Jesus shines with God’s glory, but then he gets back to his work of healing. Consider how God might transform you to do better the work you are already doing for God.
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