2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
Peter has the response to being in such a time and place as most of us have at lesser events. Having been at conferences or retreats where we wanted it to last a bit longer. Having had those experiences that were so good we wanted them to go on forever. This is why we call them mountain top experiences. And those of us who have been on the top of mountains realize that we are not meant to live on top of mountains, even if we sometimes live in the midst of them.
It reminds me that part of the experience of solitude with God, as well as some of these other experiences of God in groups, we have this moment, but then we have to live in the ordinary of life. God calls us to continue to live our lives today as we go from these times of intimacy with him. Yet it is also a precursor of something to come. A time coming when we will not have just a moment of such intimacy, but God will be present with us in such a real way at all times. When we see that there is no need of a sun, for God is the light of the earth around us. When we get to experience the recreated earth.
That time is coming, but we live now. And our times of solitude give us strength, wisdom, and depth of faith so that we can live life now. Not just trying to live the life that is coming. Not just waiting for that and imagining what will be. But we live today in the faith and certainty that God is already with us in all things and in all places. We move from time alone with God to time with God and others. It is just as we move from times of worship each week to times of life throughout the week that are worshipping in their own ways.
Peter wanted to hold on to something good and holy. It’s not that he was holding for the wrong thing, he was just not ready for it yet. The disciples go on for many years after Jesus’ resurrection and serve God in the church. We have many years left to serve, but we take each opportunity to have this same intimacy with God each day so that we can better follow as disciples today. He calls us to himself and he sends us out with his presence.
Song – Be Thou My Vision
Almighty and loving God, we bless you for the gift of your Word. We pray now for the grace to believe what we have read, and to live in ways that honour you above all. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.