Last Epiphany – Year B

2 Kings 2:1-12; Psalm 50:1-6; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Mark 9:2-9

“People are like stained-glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

                No bleacher can dazzle with such whiteness (Mark 9:3).  This tops them all.  Today we celebrate the Transfiguration.  (see Greek below)  Jesus takes Peter, James and John to the mountain top.  There they see him as never before, brilliantly shining with white radiance.  The New Testament seldom directly says Jesus is God.  However, it frequently speaks of Jesus in the way the Old Testament only would speak of God.  In the Old Testament we hear of God’s “shekinah.”  This is a glittering bright glow, an intense light which is God himself pitching tent and with mobility homing with the people.  The shekinah is sometimes in English called God’s glory.  So in today’s Gospel we read of God’s glory seen in Jesus.  But the shekinah/God is not left on the mountain top.  Jesus has Peter, James and John come down to shine in the midst of their brothers and sisters, and in the midst of their enemies.  Just as the bible says the very breath of God keeps us breathing, the very shekinah of God is what keeps each of us radiant from within.  The light of God within us can sparkle through as if through a stained-glass window.  Why do we not always see this?  When the full moon is out it is hard to see clearly the light coming from the stars.  So also, when we are so full of ourselves, it is hard to see others glow, they flicker out.  The paradox is that the more humble we are the more majestic we all shine.  When we give other people permission to shine our own glow is authentic rather than snuffing. 

Greek

                In Mark 9:2 the word is transliterated “metamorphized” and is variously translated transfigured, transformed, changed in form, changed in appearance.  Perhaps it was Peter, James and John’s sight that was metamorphized.  Jesus was who he was all along.

Haiku

Shekinah bright God,

shine within to sparkle eyes

with grandiose glow. 

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