In the Gospel text from this past Sunday, we find three of the disciples going on a journey with Jesus to a high mountain. This, however, is no recreational hike. When Peter, James, and John reach the top of this mountain with Jesus, they find him changing. His clothes are bright white and he appears to almost be glowing. And if that wasn’t shocking enough, Moses and Elijah show up! As they stand in awe and wonder of what is happening around them, Peter tries to offer hospitality to these three…until the voice of God speaks.
“This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” In these words we get an affirmation of who Jesus is. He is the Beloved, God’s Son. Here he shines in glory and majesty. But soon, he will make the trek down the mountain, where he will make his way to the mountain of his crucifixion, Golgotha. There he will be beaten, crucified, and he will die.
These are two very different images of the one Jesus Christ, our Savior. He is indeed to be worshiped and glorified, but he will also die, so that death might be defeated and our sin forgiven. He is with us as the transfigured one, the crucified one, and finally, the risen one at Easter. As we enter into the season of Lent, may we remember and seek to understand his presence in our lives in all times and places, on all mountains and through all valleys. Amen.