Devotion: February 19, 2023 | Transfiguration

Devotion: February 19, 2023 | Transfiguration


Yesterday as we drove up North for a brief time away, the storm grabbed ahold of us just south of Milwaukee as we rolled up I-94. Visibility deteriorated rapidly as the semis pushed aggressively forward, riding our bumper and throwing out slush from in front. It was life as usual: we couldn’t see a thing.

Six days after feeding the four thousand, Jesus took Peter, James and John “up a high mountain” for a brief time apart. There upon the summit, he was transfigured before them: his clothes became “dazzling white” and his face “shone like the sun” (Mt. 17:1-2). The Galilean fishermen saw him as who he truly is: the Son of Man in glory. Moses and Elijah came and spoke with him, and then a voice from a towering-white thunderhead said, “This is my beloved Son…listen to him!”

The disciples wanted to stay on the mountaintop—but when they found the courage to look up, Jesus appeared as he always did: their careworn teacher, companion and friend. And it was time to go down from the mountain—to embrace the need waiting below.

When Deb and I arrived at the lake, darkness was falling. The road was snowy and swirling flakes glittered like diamonds in the headlights. We built a fire in the woodstove to lift the chill from the floor and soon headed off to bed.

When morning came, the golden sun greeted a world blanketed in dazzling white. The lake slept frozen under cerulean skies. The air was pensive and still—and with no signs of slushy expressways! The new day arrived with grace and with glory: altogether beautiful—and altogether good.  It seemed like a transfiguration to me.

Unlike the snowy morning in Wisconsin, Jesus’ transfiguration came from within himself. That’s where the light originated: the Light that comes into our world. What would it mean if we sought to see one another the same way? To see each other in the light of Christ? What if we saw one another as people made in God’s image? And despite all the slush of this world—as people carrying within us something shining and beautiful, and despite all our sinfulness—still altogether good?

Well, doing that would transfigure the way I look at people.

And maybe doing that more often might just transfigure me.

In Christ’s love,

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