Preparations for Transfiguration Sunday

The lectionary Gospel reading for this coming Transfiguration Sunday is Luke 9:28-36:

“Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud.Then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!’ When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.”

Some reflection questions to ponder this week:
  • What do you think it means that Peter and his companions saw Jesus' glory? How might this experience have impacted them? 
  • What might be the significance of the mountain and the clouds? 
  • Why do you think Peter wants to build the dwelling places? Have you ever had an experience so profound you just wanted it to last forever? Did you eventually have to "come down from the mountain"?
  • In Luke's telling of this story, Peter and his companions stay awake even though they're really exhausted. What are the challenges of staying awake today (literally and metaphorically)? If we do stay awake as followers of Jesus, what might we witness/encounter? 
  • Of all the things God could say at this moment, what does God say? Does this surprise you? Why is it important?

Included here are also a handful of historical pieces of art to use in your contemplations, Bible studies and sermon preparations.

May it be a week of fresh spiritual illuminations!

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