Shone and Light

John 1:2-5: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

Matthew 17:1-3: After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Moses had an experience with God on top of a mountain, and a cloud accompanied Moses on his journey. Elijah had also encountered God on a mountain. Both law and prophet represented the importance of Jesus for the writer of Matthew. The transfiguration confirms that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, the Son of God. He is more than Moses (the law) and more than Elijah (the prophet); he is the Messiah. The Messiah who faced suffering and death for all of us.

Their fear was eased when Jesus touched them and told them to get up and not be afraid. The passage ends with the four descending the mountain and Jesus telling them not to tell others about what happened until he has been raised from the dead. Do you wonder why Jesus was always telling others to not tell? Maybe because there are no human words to describe what their eyes saw. When we are spiritually ready, our eyes will be open wide.

When I was a child, I saw the image of my Grandfather Henderson after his death standing at the bottom of my bed. He was not really in human form but I recognized him in the dark, not shining but very recognizable to my eyes. I had been crying for him. His message to me was only not to be afraid, I would never be alone. My mother said I just had a dream, but I was sitting up in my bed looking at him very clear. The Bible tells us many times that we are never alone. Did God use my grandfather to get a message to me firsthand? I think so. I never saw his image or any image again. Was this part of my transformation to believe and understand more of what the Sunday school teachers read to me over the years about Jesus? Now that I look back, it was probably the start of my spiritual journey. Even in very troubling life events, I was carried out of it somehow when I felt hopeless. God is good all the time. All the time God is good. ‘For this I know, the Bible tells me so.’

Awaken to God’s presence here and now. Look around you wherever you are. Are you comfortable, have food and shelter? Have you prayed for your family, friends, and others today? Above all, have you thanked God for all you have and invited him to guide you? How do you plan on helping others today?

God, where will the Spirit lead me today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond. Grant me courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace. Amen.