A Transfiguration Story.
AÂ retelling of Luke 9:28-36
Â© 2013 Rev. Elisabeth R. Jones
The disciples were travelling with Jesus throughout the countryside, and he was busy healing people, and telling them all about the Dream of God – you know the one, about people loving one another enough to make the world a better place, – the one about forgiving others when they hurt us, and working hard to make sure people arenâ€™t hungry, or cold, or left out, or bullied. Most of the people thought this was a great and wonderful dream, but Jesus knew how hard it is to make it come true, and he warned his disciples:
â€œDonâ€™t be surprised if people tell me, or you to stop talking about Godâ€™s Dream. Donâ€™t be surprised if people stop you, and me, from healing people, from sharing Godâ€™s goodness with the poor, and the outsider.â€
Peter thought Jesus was being too gloomy and said â€œBut Jesus, who wouldnâ€™t wantÂ to follow you?â€
And Jesus said, â€œOh Peter, itâ€™s not easy, because this road doesnâ€™t lead to luxury, but to a generosity that hurts.Â Even you will find it too hard to follow, sometime.â€
A few days later, Jesus took Peter, and John and James and they climbed the mountain, and sat at the top, where the air is crisp and clear, and you feel like you can tickle the sky with your fingersâ€¦. And JesusÂ started to pray â€“ to talk with God. And while Jesus was quiet and still and praying,Â James and John and PeterÂ tried hard to stay awake, but the day was warm, and they were tired from the climb. Just as they were nodding off, they realized something special was happening to Jesus. It was as if the whole world shone on Jesusâ€™ faceâ€¦. it was like he glowed with the light of the sun and the stars, and even his ordinary raggedy clothes looked like they were made of angelsâ€™ wings.
â€œLook! Said Peter, thereâ€™s people with him, who are they?â€ It looked for all the world like Moses himself, and Elijah, two of the greatestÂ prophets who had lived centuries ago, were talking to Jesus!Â Three holy, holy people, people who knew God, and who believed in the Dream of God, all talking together in this holy, shiny light.
They were tingly with amazement. â€œSurely the Presence of God is in this place,Â I can feel this mighty power, andâ€¦â€¦ love..?â€ whispered John to James. â€œYeah! said James, â€œme too!â€
â€œI think we should just stay here forever!â€ said Peter, â€œthe Dream of God seems so real up here.â€
But all too quickly the mountaintop clouded over, the light faded, and it was time to go back down from the holy edge of heaven to the real road of life.
If theyâ€™d had cell phones, theyâ€™d have taken photos and put them up on Youtubeâ€¦. but then again, they didnâ€™t need to.Â They would remember this mountain top moment for the rest of their lives, the day they saw Jesus transfigured into something holy, awesome, beautiful, powerful, the truest, bestest, glimpse of God anyone would ever see with human eyes. That Dream of God, for a moment on a mountain seemed like it can come true, anywhere, everywhere.
And for the rest of their lives,Â they tried to live the Dream of God. Because you know what?Â They had been transfigured too, deep inside their hearts and souls, and bodies.
And this best beloved is the truest of stories.