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Sermon for Luke 9:28-36 - The Transfiguration
Transfiguration Sunday - Experience the Mountaintop But Don't Forget the Valley Below
            

Many of us have had them, those times when we felt like we were on top of the world, really happy, confident that we knew all the answers, could solve any problem that came up. Or we felt that we were really close to God, really in tune with Godís plan for us. In those moments we were excited and alive, and everything seemed new.

The moment might have come at some exciting event in your life: graduation, baptism, your first kiss, your first day on your first job, your wedding, the birth of a child, even catching your very first fish. It might have been something really spiritual, like a week at church camp or a church retreat. Or it might have been something of a smaller, quieter nature, like a very intimate conversation with your father or mother when you felt that they honestly understood what you were saying and why you felt the way you did.

We call these "mountaintop experiences," and oh how we hate to come down off that mountain! We want to hang on to that moment for as long as we can. "Letís just stay right here and let the rest of the world go by for a while." But to freeze that one moment in time shuts off the possibility of the next moment.

In the Gospel reading for today we hear the writer of Matthew give his version of the event which we call "The Transfiguration of Jesus." Mark and Luke also contain an account of this strange occurrence, with some minor variations in the telling. Itís one of those rare moments we were just talking about, one of those mountaintop experiences of life, which somehow defy adequate description and challenge us to stretch our concept of reality to the point that we usually wind up asking the question, "Did this really happen?" Events such as the Transfiguration somehow connect us with the mystery of creation and eternity.

For Jesus it was a time of confirmation and affirmation of his ministry. For Peter, James, and John it was a brief glimpse of the transcendent, a peek at the reality that lies just beyond everyday life.

But notice that Jesus quickly led the disciples back down off that mountaintop - in spite of Peterís desire to pitch a tent and camp there for a long while. Jesus led them back into the daily routine of teaching and preaching and caring for the broken and hurting people of the world they lived in, back to the reality of life in the valley...

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