Today as our Lenten journey continues we read in the gospel of Jesus taking Peter, James and John up the mountain, to be transfigured before them, revealing the transcendent glory that lay within him.
To contemplate this scene of Transfiguration we need to journey up that mountain with Jesus, Peter, James and John, leaving behind the cares and worries of our everyday lives for a moment in order to witness something truly magnificent.
We journey up the mountain to be a part of the transcendent experience of God revealing the divine presence to us, to inspire us and ultimately, to change us.
In the experience we read about in today’s gospel Peter was filled with awe at what he witnessed but he was not yet ready to be transformed and transfigured himself.
Peter wanted to hold on to that single experience and to lock it in place, staying forever on that mountain, even offering to build dwellings for Jesus and the visions of Elijah and Moses.
But that is not what the experience was for. Jesus did not lead those three disciples up the mountain to stay there forever, locked in a static vision of glory.
He led them up there to give them an experience that should change and transform them into being more like him.
Jesus needed them to be strengthened to face the crosses and burdens of this world, with God’s love overflowing in their hearts and spilling out into their lives.
The vision was not enough.
Jesus needed them to come back down the mountain to show them something else in order for them to fully understand what he was trying to reveal to them about God so that they would be transformed into vessels of love.
We glimpse at the power of that lesson when we read in John’s Gospel 13:5-17, during that last meal Jesus shared with his disciples, of the extraordinary example of washing his disciples’ feet.
The same one who shone so radiantly with God’s glory on the mountain top now stooped down with bowl and towel to perform the duties of a slave so that his followers might be transformed beyond the ensnaring prevailing attitudes of this world and its culture of power and domination.
As part of a Lent Series released by Common Grace reflecting on Jesus and Justice, Charlene Delos Santos, considers this moment of love in action at the bottom of the mountain.
It was a moment which ultimately revealed much more to the disciples about God than that moment on mountain top ever could.
As we listen to Charlene’s insights I encourage you to reflect on those times when you may have felt vulnerable or even uncomfortable while serving others, and ask God for peace as you are led in this and you consider how we might be involved in ways of serving people who may otherwise be overlooked.