The dictionary describes transfiguration as “a complete change of form or appearance into a more
beautiful or spiritual state.” Non-believers make the statement that they cannot believe in something or someone that they cannot see. Yet as Lutherans we believe in Jesus Christ even though we can’t physically see Him and look forward to seeing Christ when He returns.
Peter, James & John were to stay awake guarding Jesus, but they fell asleep. They awoke to see Christ’s glory and Moses & Elijah standing with Him. Moses and Elijah represent the two principal components of the Old Testament: Moses was the giver of the law, and Elijah was considered the greatest of the prophets. God allowed the apostles to have a spiritual experience that was meant to strengthen their faith for the challenges they would later endure as Jesus has to suffer though the Passion.
In the same way, at certain times in this life, God may give certain members of the faithful, special experiences of His grace that strengthen their faith. Not everyone will have such an experience, but we should welcome these experiences, but not expect them, or be afraid of them.
They are meant to be momentary glimpses of the joy of heaven that should sustain us as we face various challenges of this life, and to help strengthen us on the road that will ultimately bring us into the endless joy of heaven. This is the future experience we pray for!
Lord, we are weak and don’t fully understand all that will happen before we meet you in our heavenly home. Please forgive our ignorance and lack of faith. Send your Holy Spirit to make us stronger and to build our faith so that we reach out and spread Your Word to our fellowman. Help us live our lives more like Christ, helping others, loving our neighbor and bringing them into the fold. Amen.