August 6, 2012 - Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 9
2 Peter 1:16-19
Mark 9:2-10

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. There are two central lessons for us to learn from the Transfiguration. The first is perhaps the more obvious: Jesus is God. He looked just like a normal man walking up the mountain, but, when they reach the top, his clothes become brilliant white and he shines as if the light in him is greater than the sun. He speaks to Moses and Elijah, who have not been around earth for a thousand years. A voice speaks from a cloud, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” This is the first lesson of the Transfiguration.

But just as Jesus has two natures, so there is another lesson. Nothing happened to Jesus that day that we do not hope for ourselves someday. Someday, we will speak with Moses and Elijah and all the Saints. Someday, we will be wearing spotless garments and a light from within us will shine brighter than the sun. Someday, we hope, God will say to us, “You are my beloved son (You are my beloved daughter) in whom I am well pleased.”

Just look around. Those are some very ordinary people. Look in a mirror, and you will see a very ordinary person. Someday all of us will be so beautiful that if we were to see now what we will be then we might fall down in worship. Either that or we will be so hideous that we would run away in fear. None of us, no person on earth, is going to remain ordinary. God has plans for us to be extraordinary, and we will fulfill those plans or fail miserably. No one will remain in this current middling state. Someday, we hope we will be just like Jesus standing on top of that mountain, as far as his human nature is concerned.

This is the mystery of the Incarnation. Jesus became like us so that we could someday become like him. Everyone you meet today, the checkout girl at the grocery store, the man who cuts you off in traffic, the homeless woman you walk by on the street, every one of them has the potential to be transfigured. When you speak to your mother or father or husband or wife, you are speaking to someone who will someday, we hope, be like one of the gods of the old myths. You could not help but love them, and you cannot help but love them now if you could just see the potential that God sees when he looks at us.