Tag Archives: transformation

The Transfiguration

10trans1-e1298272085244Changed into His Likeness


There was a moment when Jesus manifested His glory on the earth. We long for that moment to happen again. In today’s Gospel we read:

About eight days after Jesus had foretold his death and resurrection, Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. (Luke 9:28-29)

God called Moses to come up His holy mountain:

Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights. (Exodus 24:15-18)

Something happens on the mount of God. His presence and His glory are there. God’s glory is like a “devouring fire.” It changes the participant. When Moses returned to the people his face shown with the glory of God.

Peter was on the mount of transfiguration. This was not just a metaphorical experience. It was an actual event. We have his testimony in his own words:

We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (2 Peter 1″16-17)

God calls us up to His holy mount for a purpose – His purpose! There are those who are merely looking for spiritual thrills. False churches and false revivals have been birthed by misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the Holy. Many have been led astray by lying spirits and false angels because they were seeking signs and wonders rather than the Lord Jesus Christ, not realizing that Satan himself can disguise himself as an angel of light. The Apostle Paul reminds us:

Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you.Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.   (Colossians 2:18-19)

Is God calling us to come to His mount of transfiguration? Are we ready? We are not to seek spiritual experiences per se. Rather, let us seek Jesus and His glory.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Cor. 3:17-18)

We are transformed by whom or what we worship. Let our worship be the Lord Jesus Christ and Him only. He is the culmination of all the Law and the Prophets. Let us focus on Him and listen to His words. Let us look into His face and be transformed from glory to glory.

Very soon Jesus will be calling His Bride. We must wait with expectation with our oil lamps full. We want to be full of the Holy Spirit and emptied from the pleasures and distractions of this world. The ultimate transfiguration for us will be when we receive a glorified body in heaven.

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Filed under Holy Day, homily, Jesus, lectionary, liturgical preaching, liturgy, Pentecost, Revised Common Lectionary, sermon, sermon preparation, The Transfiguration, Year A

Last Sunday after Epiphany, Year A

carl_heinrich_bloch_the_transfiguration1A Called to the Mountaintop

Have we received a call from God to come up to the mountaintop? If so, we would be in good company.

The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God.   (Exodus 24:12-13)

God calls us up to His mountain. He is calling everyone to do so. Her calls us each by name. Are we listening? Peter, James, and John were listening. We read in Matthew:

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.   (Matthew 17:)

There is a purpose for a mountaintop experience. Moses was called by God to receive His commandments which established the Old Covenant. Peter, James, and John were called by Jesus up to the Mount of Transfiguration to understand the New Covenant.

On the mountain we learn the purposes and plans of God, if we are attentive. In today’s Gospel we read:

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.  (Matthew 17:4-8)

Peter had become distracted. He was overwhelmed by the experience. He knew the event was important and he wanted to preserve it. Nonetheless, Peter missed the significance of this event, at least initially. Many Christians today are seeking signs and wonders. These were meant for unbelievers. As Christians we must learn to value what is significant to our spiritual growth and what is central to the will of God. After the resurrection Peter wrote:

We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.   (2 Peter 1:16-18)

What was the significant message of the Mount of Transfiguration? Mose and Elijah represented the Law of God and the Prophets. Neither the Law nor the Prophets can grant us salvation. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Salvation is only by grace through faith in Him.

There is also a very significant byproduct of a mountain top experience with God. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai his face shone because he had been in the presence of God. For this reason he wore a veil over his face. As we follow Jesus we are not meant to wear a veil. We are called to shine with the glory of God.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.   (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Jesus has purchased the right for us to come up to the mountain of God. Are we willing to spend some of our time with Him. If so, He will change us more and more into His likeness. On the mountain top we are transformed. (We become who or what we worship.) All this is in preparation for the time we, too, will be transfigured. We will be carried away to the Father’s house for a lasting celebration.

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Filed under Epiphany, homily, Jesus, lectionary, liturgical preaching, liturgy, preaching, Revised Common Lectionary, sermon, sermon preparation, Year A