Readings for Transfiguration of our Lord
Matthew 17:1-9; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Exodus 24:8-18
Everything we know about God we know because He makes Himself known. He doesn’t want to be remote and hidden away in heaven. He wants to be known and have a relationship with us. And so He reveals Himself – in part through the natural means of His creation, and in part through the supernatural means of divine revelation.
Sunday’s readings offer two equally dramatic examples of divine revelation. One happens to Moses and the elders of Israel atop Mount Sinai. There, they behold the glory of God which is like “a devouring fire”. So why didn’t they die? Because God had already made a covenant with them sealed in blood (Ex 24). Centuries later, another group of disciples would ascend a mountain and behold the glory of God – revealed in the Son of God, Jesus. Again, the men are understandably struck with fear. But the Son of God comforts them. “Don’t be afraid!” he says. And why shouldn’t they be? Because in Christ God has made a new and better covenant with his people sealed in the very blood of His Son (Matt 17). Only through Jesus can we have communion with God. The epistle reading gives us the personal of testimony of Peter who was an eyewitness to that glorious moment on the mountain (2 Peter 1).