Dear Friends and Members of Shepherd of the Hills,
Are you comfortable? When we as humans experience comfort, we work hard to try to capture it and keep it. We find our favorite comfortable shirt and never throw it away. We have our most comfortable chair and never give it away. We have the people we are most comfortable with and choose to spend our time around them.
This is what makes the account of the transfiguration odd to me. You have Peter, James and John on this mountain side where Jesus’ countenance is transformed. He is beaming white light and Moses and Elijah are speaking with him about his departure. This can’t be a comfortable situation on many levels. The most prominent reality being the fullness of Jesus’ glory shining about them. The glory of the most high God, the same glory that make all the prophets of old quake with fear and fall on their knees. Yet, Peter calls out, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”. I believe it was not the awe and wonder of the scene that causes Peter to make such a declaration, but one of comfort. In the presence of Jesus, even the awe, wonder and majesty of the Most High God is one of comfort. It is comfort to us because at the last we know where we belong. We fear not our own sinful condition, because in the person of Jesus we find our rest and belonging with God.
Jesus in his grace and mercy does not permit Peter to do such a thing. Instead Jesus chooses the discomfort of the cross so that all people, not just Peter, James and John, might know the full comfort of being where we belong…in the midst of Jesus’ life giving and merciful presence.
I pray that you will join me this weekend as we celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord. We will celebrate together the God in flesh made manifest for us sinners in need of comfort.
In His Love and Service,