What Goes Up, Must Come Down

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

Scripture: Matthew 17:1-9 (NRSVue)

The Transfiguration gives us great hope—Jesus’ destiny is our destiny. Like Jesus, we have the promise of being transfigured—shining like the sun. When Jesus’ resurrection glory was foreshadowed in the bright cloud and thundering affirmation of the Father, the disciples hit the ground in fear of the powerful display of Christ’s being. But then something beautiful happens, Jesus touches them and lifts  them up. They went down, but Jesus lifted them up. “Humbly thyself in the sight of the Lord,” say the Scriptures, “and he will lift you up.” In Christ we have both the humility of suffering and crucifixion and the glory of his transfiguration and resurrection. His bright white garments symbolized not only his majesty, but also the martyrdom he would endure on the cross. Even the symbol of the cross is transfigured by Christ. Once a symbol of death—a brutal form of capital punishment, was transfigured by Christ into a symbol of life—good triumphing over evil. We go up the mountain with Christ for the mountaintop experience, and then we go down with Christ into the valley to serve and follow God’s mission to the cross…and out of the empty tomb. In the midst of earthquakes and chemical spills, let us ever hold on to the hope of transfiguration, even in the midst of tribulation.


February 19, 2023

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Sermon Art: “Transfiguration II” by Jan Richardson, paintedprayerbook.com



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