Pastor Matthew’s reflections on Transfiguration Sunday:
This week I heard, for the first time, transfiguration Sunday referred to as the “Quinquagesima”.
This lovely word, the Greek suffix of which implies fifty, signifies this Sunday which is 50 -ish Sundays before Resurrection Sunday. How appropriate a name for this day when we get a glimpse, for the second time in Mark (the first being at His baptism) of Jesus' divinity as it points to the day upon which the true completeness of Jesus' divinity is revealed and upon which He is transfigured ultimately from death to life.
I think there are sometimes revelations of God that are simply to be observed, experienced and "revelled in" for the sake of just that. They are not meant to be over thought or dissected; it is simply enough that we are fortunate to witness them. In the story of the Transfiguration Peter, James and John are fortunate to see this incredible happening.
Jesus, standing among the two most important prophets and law givers in Hebrew history, and He is shining like the sun, they are not but He is. "The Voice" comes again, as it did at the beginning of Mark's gospel by the banks of the Jordan, and again says "this is My Beloved in whom I am well pleased"...and this time adds..."listen to Him" as if the voice is well aware of the limited attention span and intellectual fortitude of the listeners.
And instead of just sitting there quietly and marveling, Peter jumps up and starts sketching out plans for some shrines that should be built...Now we can forgive Peter's exuberance, He loves Jesus, we know this, but, true to form, Peter is missing the point. Witness...just sit-down Peter and witness this miracle which is being gifted to you. Let us, all of us, make sure this Transfiguration Sunday that we do not jump up and start doing things to mark the specialness of the occasion, let's just sit and marvel for a while.
God bless you fellow pilgrims as we once again ready ourselves for the journey back to Jerusalem this Lent. May God reveal Himself to you anew in this time of sacrifice and discipline so that you might be transfigured in the likeness of the Beloved in whom God is well pleased.