Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” — not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. [NRSA: Luke 9:28-36]
In my quest to climb Mt Tabor and see this holy spot there is a church at top with
four sanctuaries.. and Upper and lower devoted to the transfiguration of Jesus and two smaller ones devoted to Moss and Elijah. And a monastery, and a cemetery, and a garden, and remnants of other structures, and a small gift shop. For a location that Jesus gave specific direction for having no need for booths, markers, nor markets to celebrate we have built them nonetheless.
Some folks have a desire we might label as spiritual jealousy. Saul had his Damascus road transformation, hundreds came to Jesus and were miraculously healed, thousands came and were miraculously fed from loaves and fish, apostles freed from their prison cells, Paul saved from shipwreck and snake bites.
Where is my miracle? Where’s our moment in the divine glory and blinding brightness to seal our faith?
Keep in mind that Peter share in this holy moment, but later will deny Jesus at a most important time. James and John will let there experiences go to their head and they ask to sit on either side of Jesus in heaven.
Miraculous moments are important and can be transformative, these are signs of what is important. The are NOT special privileges for the favored.
It’s true that Jesus took a small group and not all the disciples. Was it the three who needed the clearest view? Were these who Jesus knew had a more difficult time trusting ? Were they more mature than the others and better able to comprehend the event? Would these who would have the greatest struggle to believe?
Peter’s response was to mark and market the occasion for others, and Jesus’s intent was for Peter to experience a holy moment of revelation of Jesus’s nature, mission, and connection.
One thing that is essential is that we take from this encounter is that the OT and NT messages are the same message: Through Moses with Law, Elijah with the Prophets, and Jesus with the Gospel: God is weaving together a tapestry of invitation to trust, grace for our rebellion, and authority for our doubts and fears.
Another part of this event is that different Memorial moments are intended for different people. Look ahead to the birth of the church at Pentecost, some think the disciples are drunk on new wine and other hear the gospel in their own native languages.
I will tell you many times it amazing me the number of times someone will say, I hear words that so resonated with me, when you said, and the words they heard were different from what I thought I had said. I never doubt them because God has unique messages for us all.
For those who overhear and recall someone else’s holy moment, what can we take away for ourselves?
Yet another lesson is that the events from that day were not always to be a special secret for a select group, but in a most important time , they needed to be remembered and retold. Peter wants buildings and holidays and ritual to tell the story, and Jesus wants Peter to tell the story.
Some of you may have experiences of angels, messengers, experiences from travels, study of scripture, in a piece of music, and other personal moments of divine disclosures:
- These are for your own faith
- These are for you to share with others for theimountains88⁸If you cannot recall moments of revelation then it’s time to climb some mountains, its time for spiritual retreats, it’s time to gather in small group with others on the same journey and be where God’s message is being revealed.
- If you have these moments of revealed truth and faith this generation needs to hear, see, be encouraged and fortified more than ever in our lifetimes.
- God wants us to have faith in Christ
- God wants us to share life in Christ
- God wants us to live by faith with one another
We need to recall these moment more than ever… Our Christian neighbors to the north have dropped from 60% to 10% who consider themselves Christian and it is no wonder the church is under attack when the people have forgotten or let go of the moments that are given to anchor our faith.
We can’t force or manufacture a spiritual mountain top experience but we can follow when asked to go.
We cant make Jesus show up on demand, but I can be reading, listening, waiting… I know where to look
We can’t expect my spiritual moments to be like yours, because yours are for you, and mine for me… we might share to encourage one another, but God is calling, knocking, asking and desires in your heart and life.
Transformational markers are personal yet have collective benefits
Retreat ; set aside time and place, this lenten season to receive the word, blessing, and spiritual moments God longs to reveal to you!