Awesome

Have you experienced those moments that make you stop in wonder, when you see something in a new light? Clouds disappear and the sun comes out and you say, 'wow! And you sense the touch of something more than the view itself. Some might describe that as a glimpse of glory. One of our children, at about 5 years old, was awe-inspired and delighted to see the head louse I’d removed from his scalp, magnified many times under the microscope! He thought it was truly wonderful. I had a rather different feeling about it, but his joy was inspirational as I continued the family de-lousing campaign.

Because of today's gospel reading, I'm still thinking about the Transfiguration. I wonder what Peter, James and John expected as Jesus led them up a high mountain? Rest after the arduous climb? A picnic? More discussion and teaching? They were almost certainly not expecting the awesome experience that overwhelmed them. For me, glimpses of glory come when I'm least expecting anything like that. When it happens the temptation is to want to preserve the moment, make the transient experience of transcendance something more permanent. As if we could control the wind of the Spirit. We know we can't put the moment in a box and keep it, but such deep experiences call for response.

Here's a 20th century artist's response to the Transfiguration story. This mosaic is in the upper part of the Franciscan Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. My photo gives you an idea, but doesn't really do it justice. The church was completed in 1924 and built over much older churches on this traditional Transfiguration site not far from Nazareth in Galilee.

Yesterday I wrote about the words Peter, James and John heard from God about Jesus, 'listen to him'. Now I'm remembering that then the first words the 3 apostles heard Jesus speak to them as he came and touched them were
"Get up and do not be afraid."
Here's my photo of the garden planted on Mount Tabor, taken as I attempted to escape from too many people thronging the site.















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