This is a story about the Transfiguration of Jesus. More than that it is a story about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. An event unfolds on top of a mountain, but what is at stake is what is unfolding on the ground below. The disciples hear the voice of God asking them to Listen to the words of His Beloved Son. His word, is to become their only treasure. What must be heard is the sound of Love. Because when Moses and Elijah disappear only Jesus is left to teach us what we must know. He is the one who will guide us away from fear and into love.
But for now, seasoned beginners are called to silence. They are not to share yet what they have experienced when they were touched by God. What He has to tell them can be difficult to understand, and when understood, even more difficult to follow. This is especially true of His impending suffering, death and resurrection. They are granted this vision so that they will begin to dismantle their inner resistance to the vulnerability of God.
Which brings us to the question of our own vulnerability. Life is tough. It isn't that we do not have great moments of love and joy and laughter in our lives. But the hurt can often hit us from the inside. The demands of Love, pulling us out of our favourite chair seem endless. We seem to be continually having to face mental, emotional, physical and spiritual challenges.
When this happens we need to make a special effort to stay on top of things. Gearing up for the challenge is needed because we know that what is not faced up to falls apart. Without the energy to renew the law of 'winddown' takes over. Relationships become dull and predictable, goals remain unmet, weeds grow in the garden and sagebrush rolls through ghost towns. Even more, when we are committed to Compassion and to easing the suffering of others we have to struggle not to give up or ignore them. When we are committed to Peace and meet division and hostility we must find way to engage that doesn't make things worse. When we value honesty
and integrity and face situations of corruption, it isn't easy to walk the pathways of truth. Life is difficult when we try to bring to it all that is best in us. It takes continual blood, sweat and tears to infuse the world with Love and Mercy. Virtue is hard work!
This is why we need to ponder the Transfiguration every day. This moment of illumination which will continue to light the way before us. When we sink our hearts deep into the contemplative well, it is easier to rise without fear and listen to Him, the wind suddenly shifts direction - it is no longer in our face but at our back.
The Litmus test of course is not to try and stay on top of the mountain but to check that we are headed in the direction of Jerusalem with Him. I believe it was William Vanstone who wrote,
"Therefore, He who Thee reveals, hangs O Father on that tree
helpless, and the nails and thorns tell of what Thy Love must be.
Thou art God, no monarch thou, enthroned in easy state to reign.
Thou art God, whose arms of Love, aching, spent the world sustain."