What I’m Thinking: Up on the Mountain


It’s Transfiguration Sunday this week – and does anybody, or has anybody, really understood what that was all about? Well, Jesus probably had a pretty good idea, but I think the rest of us have been more in the sandals of Peter, James, and John, who didn’t seem to understand. Except for this: They knew it was precious, and powerful, and sacred.

Here’s a transcript:

This is the last Sunday before Lent, and one of the quirks of the Revised Common Lectionary is that it tells the same story on this Sunday every year. It’s the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration.

This year we’re reading it in the Gospel of Matthew, but it pretty much runs the same. Jesus goes up on a mountain with some of his disciples, and while they’re there, suddenly he starts to glow. And they look around, and suddenly there are two more figures standing with him. There’s Moses and Elijah. 

And Simon Peter – who’s always the first to say something odd – says, Well, what we need to do is we need to build booths, one for Jesus, one for Moses, one for Elijah.

Well, nobody really knows, I think, quite what to make of all this. But it’s worth noting that it happens up on a mountain, in a very special, precious sacred place. Amazing things happen on the Bible up on the summits of mountains.

But when it’s over, you can’t stay up there. You can’t build a house and live up there on the mountain in the midst of all this special spiritual wonder. You have to come back off the mountain and bring what you’ve learned into your daily life.

So like Peter, James, and John; like Jesus himself; we’re blessed if we have that mountaintop experience. But the mountaintop experience has its real life down in the valleys, and at the edges of the rivers and the oceans, where it lives out with us.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on February 19, 2017

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