Lent 2: Dizzying and dazzling

"Transfiguration" by Alekasndr Ivanov

Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.  And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white...The disciples fell to the ground and were overcome by fear.  But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Get up and do not be afraid.  And when they looked up, the saw no one except Jesus himself alone. Matthew 17:1-9

Transfiguration by Fra Angelico

For that one moment, ‘in and out of time’,
On that one mountain where all moments meet,
The daily veil that covers the sublime
In darkling glass fell dazzled at his feet.
There were no angels full of eyes and wings
Just living glory full of truth and grace.
The Love that dances at the heart of things
Shone out upon us from a human face
And to that light the light in us leaped up,
We felt it quicken somewhere deep within,
A sudden blaze of long-extinguished hope
Trembled and tingled through the tender skin.
Nor can this this blackened sky, this darkened scar
Eclipse that glimpse of how things really are.
--Malcolm Guite

Have you ever experienced God and been awestruck? Terrified? Transformed? Today many Christians recall the dazzling, dizzying trip Jesus takes with a trio of his disciples.  Peter, James and John glimpse Christ in his glory and then head back down the mountain with him, back to their ordinary lives, and, too soon, to the horror of the Cross.

When Glory
A Blessing for Transfiguration Sunday

That when glory comes
we will open our eyes
to see it.

That when glory shows up
we will let ourselves
be overcome
not by fear
but by the love
it bears.

That when glory shines
we will bring it
back with us
all the way
all the way
all the way down.
--Jan Richardson

Transfiguration by Lewis Bowman