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Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

Scripture Readings

We find ourselves in a dark place whether we are here in Dayton or El Paso or any of the other locations throughout the US that have been touched by one of the more than 250 mass shootings that have occurred just since the first of this year. And with each one of them comes more loss, more fear, more anxiety, more anger. More darkness.

The texts before us today are all about light and about where we are to find it. At the sight of Jesus’s transfiguration, Peter has a mountaintop experience of the most extraordinary sort. He sees Jesus in dazzling white talking with Moses and Elijah. And he comes up with what he thinks is a great idea—build three tents, one for each of them. But he gets it all wrong. Jesus is not one among three. He is it. God makes this as clear as God can: “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” Moreover, he’s not going to hang out in some tent on top of a mountain.

When we are in a dark place, we need to think about where we look for light. Our culture constantly points us in the direction of this or that “light.” Such lights are often for sale, and someone is making a handsome profit. “Buy this product, and you’ll be safe.” Or they take the form of political rhetorics that scapegoat whole groups of people. “If we just get rid of that sort of people, then we’ll be safe.” Or maybe it takes the form of a hundred different distractions that we encounter in a day and that keep us from looking where we should.

But God is clear: “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” When we listen to Jesus, when we look at Jesus what do we hear and see? What is the nature of his light? Again and again, Jesus teaches us to love—to love God, to love ourselves, to love our neighbor, to love even our enemy. That is his light. May it shine through us all. Even now.

- Sue Trollinger