Gospel Reading: Luke 9:28-36
28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Eli'jah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah" -- not knowing what he said. 34 As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son [my Chosen]; listen to him!" 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 15:5-12,17-18
5 And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be." 6 And he believed the LORD; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7 And he said to him, "I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chalde'ans, to give you this land to possess." 8 But he said, "O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?" 9 He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." 10 And he brought him all these, cut them in two, and laid each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11 And when birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram; and lo, a dread and great darkness fell upon him. 17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphra'tes
Meditation: What can blind us or keep us from recognizing God’s presence and glory in our lives? Sin and unbelief for sure! Faith enables us to see what is hidden or unseen to the naked eye and the unperceiving heart. Through the eyes of faith Abraham recognized God and God’s call on his life. He saw from afar not only what God intended for him, but for his descendants as well – an everlasting covenant of friendship and peace with the living God (Genesis 15:5-6,17). Abraham is the father of faith because he put his hope in the promises of God. Faith makes us taste in advance the light of God’s glory when we shall see him face to face as he is (1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2).
Are you prepared to meet the Lord face-to-face and to see him in his glory? God is eager to share his glory with us! We get a glimpse of this when the disciples see Jesus transfigured on the mountain. Jesus' face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. When Moses met with God on Mount Sinai the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God (see Exodus 34:29). Paul says that the Israelites could not look at Moses' face because of its brightness (2 Corinthians 3:7). In this incident Jesus appeared in glory with Moses, the great lawgiver of Israel, and with Elijah, the greatest of the prophets, in the presence of three of his beloved apostles, Peter, John, and James. What is the significance of this mysterious appearance? Jesus went to the mountain knowing full well what awaited him in Jerusalem – his betrayal, rejection and crucifixion. Jesus very likely discussed this momentous decision to go to the cross with Moses and Elijah. God the Father also spoke with Jesus and gave his approval: This is my beloved Son; listen to him (Luke 9:35; Mark 9:7). The cloud which overshadowed Jesus and his apostles fulfilled the dream of the Jews that when the Messiah came the cloud of God's presence would fill the temple again (see Exodus 16:10, 19:9, 33:9; 1 Kings 8:10; 2 Maccabees 2:8).
Luke tells us that Peter, James, and John were heavy with sleep while Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah (Luke 9:22)! Upon awakening they discovered that Jesus was transfigured in glory along with Moses and Elijah. How much do we miss of God's glory and action because we are asleep spiritually? There are many things which can keep our minds asleep to the things of God. Mental lethargy and the "unexamined life" can keep us from thinking things through and facing our doubts and questions. The life of comfort can also hinder us from considering the challenging or disturbing demands of Christ. Prejudice can make us blind to something new the Lord may have for us. Even sorrow can be a block until we can see past it to the glory of God. Are you spiritually awake? Peter, James, and John were privileged witnesses of the glory of Jesus Christ. We, too, as disciples of Christ are called to be witnesses of his glory. We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Lord Jesus wants to reveal his glory to us, his beloved disciples. Do you seek his presence with faith and reverence?
“Lord Jesus Christ, keep me always alert to you, to your constant presence in my life, and to your life-giving word that nourishes me daily. Let me see your glory.”
Psalm 27:1, 7-9, 13-14
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall
I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, LORD, do I seek."
9 Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD!