Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Transformed from Glory to Glory…….

“…….so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him”.            
II Cor. 3:18  MSG Bible

Transfiguration is another strange churchy word that I dare you to use in regular conversation. 

‘Transfiguration’ is sort of like ‘transformation’ but ‘transfiguration’ focuses on appearance.  So when Jesus appeared in dazzling white we say He was “transfigured” — dramatically changed in appearance.  ‘Transfiguration’ can also signal a change that glorifies or exalts somebody.

 In Exodus Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand.  Aaron and all the Israelites were really freaked out because Moses’ face was shining since he had been speaking with God. 

Now they didn’t have sunglasses back then, so Aaron asked Moses to put a veil over his face so they could talk without being blinded. 

So when Moses went up Mount Sinai to talk with God, he took the veil off.  And when he came back down again to talk with Aaron and the Israelites, he put the veil on again, at least until the whole shiny thing wore off.

Have you ever walk outside on a winter morning and been overwhelmed by the sun’s rays reflecting off the new snow?  It can seem like the whole of creation is reflecting the glory and beauty of God. 

Maybe that’s what happened to Moses after he spoke with God.  The glory of God is so strong that it was reflected in Moses’ very being, like the snow glistening in the sun.  But, after a time, Moses didn’t need the veil any more.   The transfiguration wore off.

That’s how life works, I guess.  If we don’t watch it, we can lose our shine. There’s no doubt we, like Moses, need times to recharge our souls, times of encounter with God and God’s people, so that we reflect God’s light for us.  After too long without prayer or worship, too long away from a community of faith, our countenance can begin to dull a bit.

Our shine will change for certain.  But rather than looking at this as a problem, let’s welcome the challenge. We said that the word, “transfiguration” is pretty close to “transformation.”  They both mean a type of change.

Like it or not life is transformed every minute of every day.  But “transfiguration” points to a change in appearance as well.  This means a change in how we see and in how we are seen.

So how do you see the world?

How has the world been transfigured as a result of Jesus Christ?   

In some way large or small, how do you reflect the shine that God gives you?

Maybe it’s helpful to be reminded that though we can grow weary, though we grow dim, the One whose shining glory we reflect is still calling us to spread the word that Jesus is God’s Son; that we are transfigured people because of that good news.

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