5th Sunday of Epiphany
Scripture: St. Luke 4:28-43
A transformation experience is like a bright light going off in a dark room. Suddenly you are wide awake from an extremely bright light and everything shines like polished gold. Mountaintop experiences are an important part of the Christian encounter.
Peter is one of the closest companions of Jesus. He wants to elongate this experience by building three shelters: one each for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. But the real blessing of these mountaintop experiences comes only as one leaves the mountain and returns to everyday living.
While it is a privilege to witness a miraculous, inspiring, once in a lifetime event, these experiences are worthless unless they motivate us to greater confidence and assurance that new life to others as well as ourselves. Every time we receive validation that our faith is meaningful and based on more than hope or a whim, it should compel us to share it with those who have not yet experienced it as we have. It is never enough that our faith remains locked up in only our hearts. It has to be shared wherever and whenever we have the privilege to share it.
What happened on the mountaintop is important, but it is never more important than what happens in the world and in our lives as we come back to reality.
The real problem of mountaintop experiences is they are so wonderful and so inspirationally filled we don’t want to leave the mountain and move out to face our daily lives, yet we need to go forth and wage war on the evils of our day. Let your transfiguration light go forth into the world. Lead and comfort those who are suffering from sadness, illness, injustice, or oppression. Let us confess to them that God’s name is great and awesome.
In each of our lives, we miss so much because our minds are asleep. There are certain things that are liable to keep our minds asleep. For instance, there is prejudice. We may be so set in our own ideas that our minds are shut closed. The holy scripture records such events, especially among Jews toward Gentiles and Samaritans. God is the father of all the people, yet His chosen ones believed they alone had the keys to the heavenly kingdom.
Our lives are full of actions that shut out God and God’s grace to so many of his children.
Poet Elizabeth Browning wrote these words:
“She looked at him.
He looked at her
As only 2 lovers could.
And suddenly their lives awakened.”
True love is an awakening to a horizon we never dreamed possible. For so long we have lived our lives in a routine like state, half awake and half asleep. In a transfiguration experience one becomes fully awake. One throws off their rose colored glasses and sees life as it really is. Then one cries aloud, “Father God, help me! Forgive me!”
We all need a new and fresh transfiguration as we descend the mountaintop and come down to the reality of our sinful lives. In Jesus’ name we pray.