Transfigurations: A Poem and an Painting

Earlier this week I posted some thought-provoking words from theologians about Jesus’s Transfiguration. Their words have helped me to grapple with the text at hand. Now, late in the week, I have been reflecting with a poem and a painting as I try to compose a sermon worthy of this moment in Christ’s life (Matthew 17:1-13).

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Thinking about Transfiguration

Epiphany’s gradual illumination leads ultimately to the story of Christ’s Transfiguration. I will preach from Matthew 17 this Sunday. During my study yesterday, I felt no sure direction. The best thing I’ve got–which I like more this morning than I did yesterday afternoon–is the repetition of “Behold!” as the first response humans must have when God’s glory appears. What else could we do but behold?

(It’s worth noting that in the pew Bible we use, NIV1984, the word behold never appears as such. The KJV makes it explicit all three times, the NASB two of the three. I think it’s repetition is at least worth seeing, or should I say beholding?)

In any case, I turned to some trusted companions to see whether their beholding might open something up for me. Maybe they will help you, too. I am also sure there is a Mary Oliver poem worthy of inclusion, but I don’t have her book with me. I’ll add it if I find it.

God bless you as you prepare!

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