In the Lectionary

February 7, Transfiguration Sunday: Luke 9:28-43a

Peter, James, and John glimpse a bit of heaven up on the mountaintop with Jesus, according to Luke 9. With white lights and dazzling clothes, Jesus’ face shines as brightly as the sun. Moses and Elijah are there as well—the great lawgiver and the prophet who was expected to precede the Messiah. It’s truly amazing, spectacular. A glimpse of heaven—high up on the mountaintop, far away from the chaos and devastation below.

It sounds wonderful, this mountaintop experience. What might change if we could find proof of something up there greater than ourselves, greater than the suffering world below, greater than the war and famine and violence and fear of this world? Or what if we could just escape the mess and muck of human life down here, if only for a little while?

Some people try crystals or meditation to transcend the harsh realities of this world. Others try yoga or prayer. Some literally climb mountains to get away from the chaos of human life, to be nearer to God’s peace. Other people mistakenly think drugs or alcohol will help them escape a world filled with pain and suffering.