I have always struggled with the Transfiguration. Reading about what Peter, John and James were privileged to see of Christ transfigured usually leads us down the path to our own moments of where we recognize Christ’s presence in our lives. While these are nice, they pale in comparison to what they saw. We might even feel shortchanged because faith would be so much easier if we saw what they saw, right?
This is the problem we have with glory. We consider it a value to possess and control. Glory is about us and how we see it. We worship the glory rather than what lies behind the vision that overwhelms our sight. Yes, Peter, John and James had an amazing vision of Christ’s glory but it was quick. Jesus’ glory was his coming down to us to redeem us from the shrieking, life denying, convulsive evil that is all around us. He came down to us to show us that the glory isn’t found in our search for mountain top experiences. Glory goes to the One who alone will finally bring us, this world and all creation to completion through Christ’s cross and resurrection.
The verses prior to this Jesus is teaching his disciples about the need to take up the cross and follow him. What good does it do to seek glory on human terms but fail to recognize that the glory of Christ is his coming down to save us? What good does it do to sell our souls for the glory that is now and miss out on the glory that is yet to be?
I am going to look at the Transfiguration not as a frantic search for mountain top experiences and say that is glory. I am going to look at the Transfiguration as a glorious vision of what will be. Transfiguration is a jealous hunger. To one day look upon Christ in the fullness of his glory means that death will be no more, swallowed up completely in his resurrection. To one day look upon Christ in the fullness of his glory, is to have the shrieking, life defying and convulsive presence of evil silenced forever. To look upon Christ in the fullness of his glory, means we and this world and all creation will have been brought to completion in Christ. The Transfiguration for me is a jealous hunger to one day look upon the glory of Christ who has come down to save us.
What is the Transfiguration to you?