The First Reading is Exodus 34:29-35. This is the account of what would happen every time Moses would speak with the Lord, his face would shine! What an awesome experience for Moses – to be in the presence of the Lord and to speak to Him! Wouldn’t we all want to be with Moses as he spoke with the Lord? One day we will be in the direct presence of the Lord, what an awesome experience that will be! Something to look forward to and trust in. But, we often overlook that we are in the presence of the Lord and talk with Him every time we come to worship. The Lord meets us in Word and Sacrament, and most of worship is prayer – talking with the Lord. What an awesome experience worship is! Sometimes when the presence of God overwhelms us our faces glow, perhaps not like Moses’ face, yet we are moved by being in the presence of the Lord. How awesome it is to be in the presence of the Lord!
All glory, honor, praise and thanks be to You, O Lord, for Your steadfast love and mercy, especially in Jesus! Continue to bring us into Your presence in Word and Sacrament until that day when we see You face-to-face. What a glorious day that will be! And what glorious days they are when we can gather around Your Word and Sacraments in worship. Amen!
The psalm is 50:1-6. This psalm also talks about the awesome presence of the Lord, that out of Zion, out of the Temple in Jerusalem (when it stood at the time the psalmist wrote), God shines forth. When God comes He will gather His people around Himself, as He does in worship, and He will come as judge. That can be a terrifying thought, yet, in Jesus, our judgment has passed, and we can look forward to God’s glorious presence with us. Let us trust in Him, repent of sin, and walk in the covenant He has made with us in Baptism.
Lord, keep us in You. When the weight of sin crushes us and we see our guilt, raise us up to You and the forgiveness we receive through Jesus, then lead us to rejoice and give You thanks and praise! Amen.
The Second Reading is recorded in 2 Corinthians 3:12-18; 4:1-6. This passage refers back to the First Reading for today, and the apostle Paul explains that the glow on Moses’ face would fade as he was not always in the presence of the Lord. Paul says that the glory of the first covenant is fading, especially in light of the new covenant God has made with us in Jesus. He also says that those who refuse the Gospel of Jesus have a veil over there minds, a veil put there by the god of this world (the devil). It is only in Christ that this veil is removed. As those who have been Baptized into Jesus, let us behold His face without the veil of unbelief, and let us reflect His glory to others so that they will see Him in us, and allow the Holy Spirit to remove the veil of unbelief from their hearts and minds.
Holy Spirit, keep our focus on Jesus, beholding the glory in Him which leads to forgiveness, life, and salvation. And then send us out to reflect the glory of Christ so that others can see Him and be drawn to Him in faith, hope, and love. In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.
The Gospel for today is Mark 9:2-9. What a glorious experience to see Jesus in His heavenly glory! We can understand Peter’s comment – it is good to be here! And we can join Peter in wanting to set up three tents so that they could stay there. WOW! And then to hear the voice of the heavenly Father again proclaiming Jesus as the beloved Son. Awesome! Notice also what the voice of God told the three disciples – and us – to listen to Jesus. There are many voices in our world calling us to listen to them, to follow them, but only Jesus can lead us to the heavenly Father. Let us listen to His voice as He reveals God to us and as He leads us in faith to eternal life.
Notice also that the Transfiguration came to an end, and the disciples were left with Jesus only. He is all we need. Notice also that Jesus didn’t leave them and that He came down the mountain with them to get involved with day-to-day life again. When we come down from our mountain top experiences, remember that after the experience is over and the feelings fade away, Jesus is still with us.
Heavenly Father, we long to be with the disciples, to see the glory of Jesus, to see Moses and Elijah, and to hear Your voice, proclaiming Jesus as Your Son. Open our ears to hear Jesus, to listen to Him, and to grow in Him. Amen.