This week I had one of those "duh" moments. One of those moments when you figure out what something really means - something you never gave a second thought to before but now it makes sense. There's a song I learned at summer camp as a kid. Here are the words:
"Climb, climb up sunshine mountainHeavenly breezes blowClimb, climb up sunshine mountainFaces all aglowTurn, turn from sin and sorrowLook to God on highClimb, climb up sunshine mountainYou and I"I never had a clue what the song meant or was talking about and I don't think I ever gave it a second thought. But it hit me this week - the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration is a story about Jesus that is in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This week's lectionary passage features Mark's version.
Read Mark 9:2-9
Disciples Peter, James, and John were are climbing a mountain with Jesus. When they get to the top they see Jesus' face and clothes shining bright like the sun. They see Moses and the prophet Elijah were standing with Jesus talking about God's promise to save the world.
Peter offers to make shelters for the three. The disciples are terrified, the Bible says.
Then a cloud covered the mountain. And a voice - God - says "This is my son. Listen to him." They cover their faces and then see that everything the same as before. On the way back down the mountain, Jesus tells them not to tell anyone what they saw "until the one from God is raised from the dead."
A curious story for sure. Jesus, Moses and Elijah. What does it mean? Elijah was a great prophet who foreshadowed the Messiah, while Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and received the Law from God. Together, they represent the Old Testament and the Jewish faith. And Jesus, the beloved son of God, is leading the disciples to a mountaintop experience where they will see him transformed - showing them who he is. I don't know why the disciples are told not to share what they have seen. Perhaps its because God wants people to decide for themselves who Jesus is. Peter, James, and John have certainly had an experience where Jesus shows them about the love and presence of God in the world. Maybe they, too are transformed.
Heavenly breezes, blow.
Faces all aglow.
I wonder - the next time you are looking at the sky - imaging hearing God's voice coming from it. I wonder what God is saying to you?