As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. (Luke 9:29–30 NIV)
On a recent Sunday morning, my good friend and pastor, Dr. Steve Pulliam preached a phenomenal sermon (Click Here to Listen) on the Transfiguration. Jesus—along with Peter, John and James—had gone up on a mountain to pray. All of a sudden, things got crazy. Jesus’ clothes became bright as lightning, Moses and Elijah appeared, a cloud came upon them, and God spoke.
Whenever I read this passage, I try to imagine what must have been going through the minds of the disciples. What an eye-opening experience! Luke tells us that Peter & Co. “saw his glory,” (Luke 9:32). Woah!
But the experience doesn’t end there. Per usual, Peter says some stuff without thinking (v. 33) and then a cloud appears. A voice speaks. “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him,” (v. 35). In that moment, Peter, John and James encountered Jesus for who he truly was, the Son of God.
The story of the Transfiguration appears in each of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 17:1–8; Mark 9:2–9; Luke 9:28–36), and immediately following each occurrence is a story of Jesus healing a demon-possessed boy. They went from a mountaintop experience to an awareness of a hurting world.
“The more open we are to God, and to the different dimensions of God’s glory, the more we will be open to the pain we see in the world.” – Dr. Steve Pulliam
When we encounter Jesus, when we come before him in worship, when we gaze upon his face, we can’t help but be transformed. We see a God who offers himself up to us again and again. We can’t leave that experience unchanged. Worship equips us so that God can use us within a needy world.
On Monday, March 7, we have the opportunity to gather together for our Spring Night of Worship. As a community, we will gaze upon the face of Jesus. We will be transformed by his glory. We will be united as the Body of Christ. We will “become the face of the Good News that shows God’s love to the people around us because we have had an encounter with Jesus Christ.”
Director of Contemporary Worship