Friday, February 12, 2021

Saturday prior to Transfiguration

 The words of Peter on the mount of transfiguration we make our own in the Hymn of the Day: ‘Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here (LSB 414). We, too, are privileged to be in the presence of Christ; when we gather for worship, when we receive absolution, and when we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are in the presence of Christ, the Son of God come down from heaven, born of a virgin, transfigured, crucified, died, and rose again.

As we move towards the Lenten period and through Lent to the other great festival of Easter, today - we are given a glimpse of what that will mean in today's Gospel reading.

The Transfiguration is a glimpse of what will happen to our Lord post Easter as well as to what God's Son means to Israel, the new Israel, and indeed to the Church.  Jesus is transfigured - or transformed - and there on the mountain is the glory of God in the midst of life.

The miracle of the Transfiguration is also a confirmation of Jesus' role for Israel. He is the fulfillment of all that has been shown to the people: - of all that God has done through 'the law' (Moses), and all that God has said through the prophets (Elijah).  But it is more.

It is also all that Jesus has done in His life, in His ministry, to be completed on the cross and beyond: "This is my beloved Son ..."

Those same words that were said at His baptism - are said now as He reaches the climax of His life - and moves on. Moving on the journey toward Jerusalem.

All this is good too, for the disciples, for those followers of Christ to see and to understand - the New Israel, the infant and unfolding Church is shown the glory of Christ - and is given its ministry.[1]

Collect for TransfigurationO God, in the glorious transfiguration of Your beloved Son You confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of Moses and Elijah. In the voice that came from the bright cloud You wonderfully foreshowed our adoption by grace. Mercifully make us co-heirs with the King in His glory and bring us to the fullness of our inheritance in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.[2]

 [2] Collect for Transfiguration, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis
Illustration from the woodcut “The Transfiguration” by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872 copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

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