Clearly reflect God’s grace and Christ’s self-giving love.
Rev’d Peter Balabanski
Transfiguration – Last Sunday after Epiphany – Ex 34, Ps 99, 2 Cor 3, Lk 9
Imagine looking into a mirror and seeing an image of yourself that’s much lovelier than you expect. You look more whole; more alive; more at peace; more joyful; more kind. The mirror shows you the person you know you can be. And then imagine, that, as you watch, you start to change – you start to become like that wonderful person you see in the mirror. We heard Paul describe this today as something quite real. 2 Cor 3.18 … we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become more like God. The Message
Transfigured – we saw it happen today to Moses, his face alight, shining with God’s reflected glory. And far more wonderfully, we saw it in Jesus today – but his light wasn’t reflected: Jesus’ light came from within him. The Gospels are all about Jesus. But they’re also given to change us.
Jesus’ transfiguration is meant to show us what God intends for us too: we are to be transfigured. Day by day, we are to become clearer mirrors of God’s love and joy and peace and beauty. We’ll learn more about that progression between now and Pentecost. The great light we see revealed in Jesus’ transfiguration will become the incandescent fire inspiring the disciples at Pentecost. So it’s meant for us too.
But it’s a daunting journey from Transfiguration to Pentecost. Good Friday, Easter, and Christ’s Ascension are inescapable way-points. What encouragement can I offer, that we might willingly travel this road together with our Lord? Thomas Traherne, a seventeenth-century spiritual writer wrote this: … as a mirror returneth the very self-same beams it receiveth from the Sun, so the Soul returneth those beams of love that shine upon it from God. For as a looking-glass is nothing in comparison of the world, yet containeth all the world in it, and seems a real fountain of those beams which flow from it, so the Soul is nothing in respect of God, yet all Eternity is contained in it, and it is the real fountain of that Love that proceedeth from it. Centuries of Meditations C4.84 https://ccel.org/ccel/t/traherne/centuries/cache/centuries.pdf
This Wednesday, we will enter the season of Lent – the season of preparation. We are called to risk it: to voluntarily embark on this journey of transfiguration: called to look in a mirror, see in it the person of Christ. We are the community called to clearly reflect God’s grace and Christ’s self-giving love. That’s the call, and by God’s grace and because of Jesus, we will! Amen