Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone. There in their presence he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them; they were talking with him. Then Peter spoke to Jesus. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and from the cloud there came a voice which said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him.’ When they heard this the disciples fell on their faces overcome with fear. But Jesus came up and touched them. ‘Stand up,’ he said ‘do not be afraid.’ And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but only Jesus.
As they came down from the mountain Jesus gave them this order, ‘Tell no one about the vision until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.’
The Gospel for the feast of the Transfiguration
Peter longs for a pause, to linger enjoying the moment. But the challenge for Christians is not how best to stay put, but how to move forward in faith, finding the the godly when we come down from the mountain, living the godly and – maybe most importantly of all, bearing witness to others of the presence and love of God to them where they are and where they dwell.
Icon from Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem. (c) 2017, Allen Morris.