Dear saints, this Sunday marks the climactic end of a longer than usual Epiphany season. The Transfiguration of Jesus which we will commemorate is his last and greatest display of divine glory before going to the cross. The reading for Sunday are Exodus 24:8-18; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Matthew 17:1-9. In looking at the Exodus reading, I’m reminded of something I often heard when I’d play pick-up basketball games with my friends as a child. “No blood – no foul!” Nothing short of significant blood loss was considered serious enough to stop a game. Needless to say, some of our play got a bit ruthless at times. Sprinkling God’s people with blood was Moses’ way of reminding them of the seriousness of their sins. Something had to die if the people were to continue living as God’s people. With the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as our savior from sin, we have given up the practice of being sprinkled with blood. Jesus, our once-and-for-all sacrifice, has paid our debts in full. What has not changed is our need to take our sins seriously, and that includes taking God seriously. The “devouring fire” of God’s presence in the Old Testament was no less fearful to the disciples in the New Testament. After seeing the full extent of Jesus’ glory they must be told, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” Have we grown too comfortable in our relationship with God? How can we show our reverent fear of Him today? Why is it so important that Jesus be not just our Savior but our Mediator before God even now? These are some of the questions I invite you to ponder with me this week. God be with you!