The Transfiguration of Our Lord sits like a hinge in Jesus’ ministry. As the Epiphany season began with the voice of God proclaiming Jesus as the Beloved Son with whom God is well pleased, so here God claims Jesus, saying to the disciples, “This is my Son, my chosen; listen to him!” Yet after this mountaintop moment, Jesus will “set his face toward Jerusalem” where he will go to the cross (Luke 9:51). Jesus transitions from itinerant preacher to Moses-like leader to crucified Messiah to Risen Christ.
Transfiguration Sunday likewise sits like a hinge in the church calendar. It is the final Sunday in the Season after the Epiphany and the last Sunday before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. It is filled with both light and darkness. It is a Sunday that asks whether we as disciples will listen to and follow Jesus, the Light of the World – even to the darkness of the cross.
The scriptures for this Sunday are Exodus 34:29-35, and Luke 9:28-36. The songs for this Sunday are #815 “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light”, #671 “Shine, Jesus, Shine” and #866 “We Are Marching in the Light of God”.
Image: The Transfiguration of Jesus. Russian fresco (ca. 1380). Transfiguration Church, Russia. Copyright © A. Burkatovski/Fine Art Images/Superstock. Used by permission.