Matthew 17:1-9 (NRSV)
Chapter 17Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. Verse 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Verse 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Verse 4Then Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Verse 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!" Verse 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. Verse 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Get up and do not be afraid." Verse 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. Verse 9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, "Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."
The Season of Epiphany begins with Jesus’ Baptism and ends with his Transfiguration, one event taking place in the River Jordan and the other on a mountain. In both cases we hear the voice of God proclaiming that Jesus is his beloved Son. We also see a similar experience in Exodus 24, where God establishes a covenant with Moses and the people on Mt Sinai and speaks through a cloud. Peter, James, and John, who accompany Jesus up the mountain, are overwhelmed by the experience as Peter suggests that they build booths and stay there. Perhaps you have had an experience that you did not want to end. I remember my first experience at a Bible camp; I did not want the week to end but had to return home. Likewise, Jesus tells Peter, James, and John that they need to go down off the mountain and return to their homes.
Dear Jesus, we treasure those opportunities to experience you in all your glory. Help us to use those experiences to be witnesses for you in the world. Amen.