Transfiguration: A Climactic Epiphany

 Today we enter the final week of Epiphany. To learn more about what Epiphany is all about, go here. We begin each week with a reflection that includes scriptures and prayers that can be used daily as meditation and devotion.

Transfiguration-2The Transfiguration of Jesus is the climactic story of the Epiphany season. And Epiphany itself is the culmination of both Advent and Christmas. As we have moved from the hopeful anticipation of Advent and the joyous celebration of Christmas, it is the Transfiguration – where the radiant Jesus is glorified – where the fullness of Christ is revealed.

We have worked through several “epiphanies” of Jesus in the past few weeks. Jesus was revealed as a child king, an honored son, uniquely human and the light of the world. All of these realities culminate on this mountain, where he is revealed as the Chosen One of God.

The glory of Jesus shown in the Transfiguration points toward Jerusalem and Good Friday, where he will meet suffering, crucifixion and death. But it is also a foreshadowing of the glory of Easter – resurrection. So Transfiguration stands as both a culmination of Epiphany and a hint at the Lenten season.

We invite you to join us this week in our daily Scriptures and prayers. May God reveal his Chosen One to us in powerful ways this week.

Scriptures

Luke 9:28-36

About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.

Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him. As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But even as he was saying this, a cloud overshadowed them, and terror gripped them as the cloud covered them.

Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.” When the voice finished, Jesus was there alone. They didn’t tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

Exodus 24:12-18

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone on which I have inscribed the instructions and commands so you can teach the people.” So Moses and his assistant Joshua set out, and Moses climbed up the mountain of God.

Moses told the elders, “Stay here and wait for us until we come back. Aaron and Hur are here with you. If anyone has a dispute while I am gone, consult with them.”

Then Moses climbed up the mountain, and the cloud covered it. And the glory of the Lord settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the Lord appeared at the summit like a consuming fire. Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Psalm 99

The Lord is king!
    Let the nations tremble!
He sits on his throne between the cherubim.
    Let the whole earth quake!
The Lord sits in majesty in Jerusalem,
    exalted above all the nations.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
    Your name is holy!
Mighty King, lover of justice,
    you have established fairness.
You have acted with justice
    and righteousness throughout Israel.
Exalt the Lord our God!
    Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests;
    Samuel also called on his name.
They cried to the Lord for help,
    and he answered them.
He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud,
    and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them.
O Lord our God, you answered them.
    You were a forgiving God to them,
    but you punished them when they went wrong.

Exalt the Lord our God,
    and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,
    for the Lord our God is holy!

2 Peter 1:16-21

For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding,  or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

Prayer

Everlasting God,
You are both mighty and eternal.
Your full being is well beyond what I can comprehend.
Yet in the face of Jesus Christ I can see your glory,
Because his light illuminates the entire world.
And just as Jesus is the perfect likeness of you, Father,
Transform me today to into the likeness of Christ.
Help me today to be filled with his love,
So that others may begin to understand your greatness.
Amen

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