Matthew 17:1-9 (NRSV)
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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."
Peter, James, and John experience the transfigured Jesus in all his glory, and also see the giant Old Testament figures, Moses and Elijah, speaking to Jesus. As they are overshadowed by a cloud, they hear the voice of God saying; “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” Listen to Jesus! Those are important words for us as we prepare to move into the season of Lent. Mid-week Lenten services have long been an important part of my life, with time set apart to focus on what Jesus says as he journeys toward the cross. The Festival of the Transfiguration, standing at the beginning of Lent, allows us to glimpse in advance the glorified Jesus, and so to journey with this image and promise as we are transformed into faithful followers of Jesus. Remember: Listen to Jesus.
Dear Jesus, help us to listen to what you say and follow your example of being a servant. Amen.