Transfiguration. Look closely.

Epiphany 5 texts at www.textweek.com

Exodus 34:29-35          Psalm 99          2 Cor. 3:12-4:2          Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a)

All of us are looking… at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next… (2 Cor. 3:18-19, CEB)

When Moses approached the Lord, he came home with his face shining so brightly it frightened the Israelites; he started wearing a veil to shade the holy light he reflected.

When Jesus was transfigured on the mountainside, his clothes “flashed white like lightning,” and with him, Moses and Elijah glowed with a “heavenly splendor.”

We may wish that epiphanies and transformations would come upon us this way: give us mountaintop experiences, light us up with bright flashes of holiness that alter us so completely that the people around us have to shield their eyes!

But God’s glory doesn’t always break like a sunrise or beam like a spotlight, and God’s glory isn’t only to be found on mountaintops.

Just look in the mirror. There you are, just you, in the space you’re in, no more and no less. Not many mountains there in your living room, and probably your raiments (you know–your blue jeans, your t-shirt) are not particularly glowy. Maybe you’ll have to squint your eyes to see it; maybe shift your gaze so the lines of your face, the wrinkles in your clothes go a little out of focus.  But the glory of God is there. It shines–not a burning sun or a blazing flash, but as a spark, a flicker. It is transforming you just as surely as a child outgrows last year’s school clothes, escaping mom’s notice until suddenly ankles and wrists are hanging out and where a little one stood there’s now a big kid. It happens without our notice or attention; it happens bit by bit, degree by degree.

The same glory that shone on the mountains, transforming Moses and Elijah, transfiguring the very Son of God, is still at work in us: in our living rooms and offices, in our lines and wrinkles, in our outgrown habits and in the callings we are still growing into. We don’t need to look far to glimpse God’s glory, but we do need to look closely; changes are hard to see in those we live with every day. Especially ourselves–our nearest and most-scrutinized selves. But bit by bit, degree by degree, we are becoming lighter, brighter, closer to the image of God.


First published 2/1/16 on www.bwim.info/blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s