Summary: A sermon for Transfiguration of the Lord Sunday.
"On the Mountain and In the Valley"
A friend writes:
When my daughter-in-law noticed that her two-year-old daughter was ignoring her food, she said, "Keri, why aren't you eating?"
Keri replied, "I can't eat; God told me not to."
Her mother chided: "God wouldn't tell you not to eat your supper."
Keri looked up at the ceiling, then conceded, "Well, maybe it was Moses."
This morning's Gospel Lesson has an intersecting of the Old Testament and the New Testament...
...of the Law and the Prophets--Moses and Elijah...
...and the Son of God Himself--Jesus the Christ.
They meet on a mountain, with Peter, James and John tagging along and witnessing this awe-inspiring and mysterious event.
What does it mean?
We really aren't told.
It is mentioned in 2 Peter chapter 1 where it says, "We didn't repeat crafty myths when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Quite the contrary, we witnessed his majesty with our own eyes.
He received honor and glory from God the Father when a voice came to him from the magnificent glory, saying, 'This is my dearly loved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.'
We ourselves heard this voice from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain."
So, Peter, James and John...
...on the Mount of Transfiguration "witnessed [Jesus'] majesty with their own eyes."
Now the transfiguration took place six days after Peter made the great confession of faith: "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
It happened six days after Jesus confided in His disciples that "he had to go to Jerusalem...to be killed and raised on the third day."
It happened six days after Peter "took hold of Jesus and" scolded Jesus saying, "This won't happen to you."
This happened six days after Jesus "turned to Peter and said, 'Get behind me Satan. You are a stone that could make me stumble, for you are not thinking God's thoughts but human thoughts."
This happened six days after Jesus turned to all the disciples to tell them that if they wanted to follow Him, they had to deny themselves and take up their cross.
He told them that in trying to save their lives they would lose their lives, but in losing their lives for Christ they would find life itself.
Then Jesus says, "I assure you that some standing here won't die before they see the Human One coming in his kingdom," which...
...in many ways, occurs only six days later.
For up on that mountain Jesus appears before the eyes of three of them with Moses, who spoke directly with God, and shined with a glory from having been with God...
...and Jesus appears before their eyes speaking with Elijah, who was visited by God's still, small voice and who saw fire on his offering.
And as I mentioned, Moses and Elijah are also symbolic of both the Law and the Prophets, whom Jesus fulfills--and God's voice says of Jesus: "Listen to him."
Some scholars have noted that Moses died, while Elijah didn't die...
...and so they may represent "the living and the dead" who are all under the care of God.
But it is Jesus, not Moses nor Elijah Who takes center stage!!!