FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
As I watched, thrones were set in place, and an Ancient One took his throne, his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence. A thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him. The court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.
As I watched in the night visions,
I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him. To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 9
The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.
For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
2 Peter 1:16-19
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.
So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
On the feast of the Transfiguration today, the scriptures emphasize the image of God enthroned. In the first reading, caught up in a vision, Daniel describes what he sees of God, the Ancient One, dazzling white, on a fiery throne, being attended by thousands upon thousands. Then, he sees one like a human being coming on the clouds being given everlasting dominion, glory, and kingship. This image is repeated in the second reading and gospel when Peter, John, and James see the image of Jesus transfigured before them. He is lifted up, his clothes become dazzling white, the figures of the ancient prophets appear with him, and the voice of God comes from the clouds speaking, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”
The image of God and the depiction of Jesus is represented in many different ways. He is often shown as the Shepherd, suffering, or in some way being very compassionate and relatable. It is important to take the time to meditate on the image of God on his throne. He is awe inspiring and a cloud of his presence alone is enough to terrify the disciples.
Today, it can be easy to become distracted and weighed down by the evils in this world or see them as bigger, more powerful problems than they are. While the effects of sin and brokenness in this world are not to be downplayed or ignored, a Christian must keep his eyes on Jesus and keep everything in the correct perspective. He can never be defeated by the powers of darkness, for Jesus defeated them. His dominion and kingship are everlasting.
What are the things in your life that are worrying you or making you feel afraid or insecure? Today, meditate on the image of God on his throne. Place yourself in the position of the disciples watching Jesus being transformed in front of them and hearing the voice of God. Obey that voice and listen to Jesus today. Trust all to him knowing that everything is under his dominion and kingship.