6 August 2023
Friends, today it is our great joy to celebrate one of the most holy days in all the Christian year: the Transfiguration of Our Lord.
Today we see the entire story of the Bible summed up in a moment of great power and beauty.
But this event in the life of Our Lord is also not easy to understand. What are we to make of Jesus seemingly ‘glowing in the dark’?
In our Gospel today, St. Luke tells us that when Jesus was transfigured, the appearance of his face became different, and his clothing became white and gleaming (Luke 9:29).
In this moment, Jesus Christ was revealed to be what He is called in the Book of Hebrews: the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature (Heb. 1:3).
In the Nicene Creed, we say: ‘I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God’.
Jesus is fully God; and He is fully human. The eternal glory and heavenly beauty of God shines through the human face of Jesus.
This is the same glory that passed through the history of Israel in the Old Testament:
- This glory shone from the face of Moses when he met with God on the mountain;
- This glory dwelt in the Temple in Jerusalem, resting upon the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant;
- In the fulness of time, this glory entered our world to dwell here when Jesus was born and called our Emmanuel, God-with-us (Matt. 1:23).
The glory we see shining from the face of the transfigured Jesus is the very same glory that has revealed itself in the lives of His saints.
And it is a glory that can shine forth from your life too.
This is your purpose in life. This is what you must hope and strive for everyday: to see the glory of God in Jesus, so that it may be reflected in your life.
You might say, ‘How could God’s glory possibly shine forth from me? I am a sinner. I am an addict. My marriage is broken. I have lost so many loved ones that my life is clouded in darkness and grief. I am poor. My life is a mess. My faith is weak.’
I say to you, ‘Good! The very fact that you have experienced and can admit those things means that you’re the perfect candidate!’
As it says in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, those who believe in Jesus have His light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. There’s no other way.
So friends, on this beautiful and glorious weekend, as you enjoy the glory of the sunshine on the land and sea, make time also for prayer, worship, Bible reading and singing, that it may be a time of transformation for you and your loved ones.
Arise, shine for your light has come. God is making you more and more like Jesus as you are changed into his glorious image. (2 Cor. 3:18).
[Image: Daniel Bonnell, Christ]