February 18

Matthew 17:1-9

“And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.” vs. 2

Many of us don’t quite know what to do with the story of the transfiguration as found in the gospels. It doesn’t fit with the rest of what we read about Jesus’ Galilean ministry, and seems more like a resurrection appearance than anything else. It’s like Peter, James, and John got a glimpse of the risen Jesus even before he suffered and died. In that sense it was like a foretaste of the life to come for them, and the text says that they didn’t quite know what to do with it. It was only later, after the resurrection, that they began to understand. It’s like that for most believers. We all live on this side of the resurrection, and while we trust that there is new life beyond death, it remains a mystery. It’s outside the realm of our experience and it’s hard to unravel the truth of it. But sometimes, generally when we least expect it, there are those moments when we catch a glimpse of glory and that which is hidden can be seen. It’s like what some say of Holy Communion. It’s a foretaste of the feast which is to come. We would like those moments to last and, like Peter, try to think of ways to preserve them. But we can’t hang on and the moment passes. Whether we like it or not, we’re just going to have to keep on waiting for Easter.

Thought for the Day: When have I caught a glimpse of glory?

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