The transfiguration is the image from scripture which best captures the season of Epiphany. The passage is below. It is the conversation around Jesus’ suffering which seems to light Jesus us like a current between the two posts of a light bulb wire. The icon tells the story of Peter, James and John ascending and descending the mountain with Jesus. On the summit, inn the darkness of the morning, Jesus is transfigured with supernatural light and it is this event in all three synoptic gospels which is the high pointing Jesus directly and unwaveringly to the crucifixion.
Here are four questions for Epiphany while sitting with this image of the season:
1. Where is there suffering in your life and could it be that the conversations the Holy Spirit and God are having about those sufferings might be a great source of transfiguration in your life? In other words, might suffering bring about needed and good change?
2. Where is the light of Jesus shining into dark corners of your life which need light in order to see what needs to be changed? Could light from truth be a source of needed awareness and change?
3. Where jesus has intentionally brought his closest friends along this pivotal journey, what human resources do you need to face the light of change and transformation in your life? How might you build the kind of relationships of authenticity and trust which provide the support you need for this transformation God is bringing about?
4. How do we sometimes try to “build shelters”? How do we try to hold on tightly to good things such that the very clutching of them begins to do them harm? How is living an authentic life related to the real, spiritual work of detachment; given that life always and only involves things constantly changing?
Matthew 17 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”