February 19, 2012"Jesus led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them....." Mark 9: 2 - 9 Today is Transfiguration Sunday, the high holy day when Jesus' glory is revealed to his inner circle prefiguring Resurrection glory as the Passion begins. The road is already set and the journey to Jerusalem is ready to begin back home in the valley. But for this moment on the mountaintop, Peter, James, and John see the glory of the Lord that is beyond words. It is so good to be here in this place where the law and the prophets are fulfilled and the presence of Christ completes it all. What fullness the three disciples must have felt! So much so, they want to pitch a tent and stay in this precious presence. But a glimpse of glory does not a faith complete. Rather it is merely the starting place for these three chosen ones who take this experience back down the mountain, back into the muddle and mess that is life. The glory of the Lord has shone around them as in the beginning of the story. Do you suppose their faces shine now, like Moses' face did after his encounter with God on the mountain? There are not words adequate to express what encounter with God does in us. But we know when we have experienced God on the mountaintop, or by the ocean, or holding our newborn baby in our arms. We know when the whisper of God brushes past us in soft touches of wind and wet kisses of rain. We know the fury of the Almighty in the tempest of the storm and howling wind and riveting rain. How does our encounter with the holy change us? Do we shine? How is the presence of God we experience revealed in our lives? Does light shine from us, even through the cracks, lighting the path for someone around us? Can people see the shining in us? This week on Wednesday night, the journey to Jerusalem begins again in our own lives. We will be marked with the sign of the cross in the ashes of palms. From dust we have come and to dust we shall return. In the in-between time - from dust to dust - there is this life we have been given, this one ordinary life in the middle time, this one precious finite life in which to examine ourselves and find those places in us where the light does not shine. My heart is filled with hope this evening, that the journey will be an opening to the glory of Transfiguration, a strength for the journey to the Cross, and a joyous Resurrection that waits at the end of the journey. Open us to the shining, O God, that the light of Christ may shine again in this dreary world in us and through us and as we peel off the fetters that bind us to darkness, we may be filled anew with light and love that mark us as your own. Amen.