Everything you wanted to know about Christianity
at the Anglican Parish of the Otways
Please join me each week for our reflections
of sermons conducted during our church service.
Plus, occasional splashes of humour and epiphanies!
With much Love and Blessings
Rev. Jenny Brandon
IN life we all see things from a certain perspective,
coloured by our life experiences
that may very well prevent us
from seeing things clearly.
We all form certain opinions of events
and other people based on how we see them, and sometimes
how we see them, and our opinions of them can be mistaken.
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John (the brother of James) and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone.2 Jesus’ appearance changed in front of them. His face became as bright as the sun and his clothes as white as light." Matthew 17:1-2
A man tells of how he could only see his priest
as an aging sickly man, long past his prime.
Then he found out how active he once had been
in the civil rights movement as a young man.
That fact changed the way he thought about him.
Sometimes seeing people from a different perspective
changes our entire understanding of them.
In today’s gospel, Peter, James and John were
all given a vision, a new way of seeing Jesus
when he was transfigured before them.
This changed their perspective of him and
gave them a new understanding. It was indeed
a mountain top experience for them.
Those of you who have ever climbed to the top of
a mountain or flown in an airplane know that the
view “up above” is much different than “down below.”
Peter, James and John marvelled at the transfiguration of Jesus.
It is interesting to note that the description of the transfigured
Christ is strikingly similar to the description of the risen
Christ in the New Testament resurrection accounts.
Jesus tells his disciples as they go back down the
mountain not to tell anyone about the transfiguration
until after he had risen from the dead; because
the transfiguration event was a preparation for
them for the future; for the cross and resurrection.
Sometimes it is not until much later in life that
we come to see the purpose of the events of our
lives, especially difficult events and how they all fit together.
It is then that we realise how God works through such
events to prepare us for the future.
Our mountain top experiences, those times when the
joy and goodness of God has totally overwhelmed us,
also prepare us for the future.
When we, like Jesus and his disciples, face our
hardships and crosses, we can draw strength from
the beauty and wonder of the mountain top perspective.
In the transfiguration God assures us there is much more
beyond waiting for us, much more within us that
can emerge and be realised.
And although we may wish to remain at the top of
the mountain, we come to realise that we cannot
live on the mountaintop forever. The valleys
beckon us to come down and live our lives as
servants with other people—just as Jesus
did with Peter, James and John.
Jesus and his disciples, like Moses of old, descended
to the valleys of life to serve and give of themselves.
The mountaintop had prepared them all for
loving service of others.
The same is true of us.
We are called to loving service.
May our mountaintop experiences help
us to see Jesus more clearly;
in order to follow his holy will in lives of
cross-bearing service of others.
The Lord Be with You!
About the author
Rev. Jenny is an ordained Priest of the Anglican Diocese delivering services at Anglican Parish of the Otway churches every week.
With great depth of knowledge and a spiritual practice that shows she walks her talk and has taken her to the far reaches of N.T. Australia working with indigenous youth and elders.