Mark 9:2-9 (NRSV)
Verse 2Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, Verse 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. Verse 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Verse 5Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Verse 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Verse 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!" Verse 8Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
Verse 9As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Like Elisha, Peter seems to sense that the times are changing. The appearance of Elijah with Jesus on the mountain surely signals that God’s reign has come! Peter’s word “dwellings” is the same word used in Numbers 11 for God’s tent of meeting. There Moses gathered people around that tent to be appointed as new officials. God descended and put some of Moses’ spirit on them. Peter perhaps now sees himself as just such an appointee of God. The times were changing but Peter still misunderstood because he did not grasp the significance of Jesus’ coming death and resurrection.
The times are changing for us too. The temptation is to keep things as they are. It is tempting to think we know what God’s plans are for us and everyone. The Transfiguration gives us a glimpse of the glory of Christ. It calls us to hurry down from the mountain into the fields of ministry where we live. Christ calls us to go and the time to do it is now!
Radiant Christ, you know how tempting we find it to stay where and as we are. As we glimpse your glory today may it transform us to the urgency of ministry, sharing the news of your love with people nearby and far away. Amen.