Sunday, February 10 is the last Sunday in the season of the Epiphany. On this day, some churches celebrate the Transfiguration of Jesus. This is the event in which Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a mountain and "his appearance changed and his clothes became dazzling white." This is the meaning of "transfiguration", a glorifying of the appearance. This event also brings Moses and Elijah to talk with Jesus.
The scene is set with these "who appeared in glory and spoke of His departure that He was to accomplish at Jerusalem." Is this a contradiction? They appeared in glory, but spoke of the departure of Jesus, namely His crucifixion, which was to happen at Jerusalem. For most, the crucifixion is anything but glory. For Jesus, it is the reason for His coming. John 10:10 quotes Jesus, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." In order for us to have the abundant life, Jesus had to be executed for crimes He did not commit.
In the world today, glory shows only the spectacular, and the conversation of Jesus with Moses and Elijah would seem to be lifting up a defeated attitude. For Jesus, His death leads to victory, because the debt for sin has been paid. For the world, this event leads to confusion. Even Peter, who had been sleeping, when he awoke, did not know what to say, but, being Peter, had to say something. "Master, it is well that we are here (to witness this even though we were sleeping); let us make three booths, one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah"...And then comes the reason for this comment; "not knowing what he said." This was Peter who had to say something, so let's keep this here always. The world today has the same problems with glory and suffering. It does not see any connection between these two "opposites". Glory is the spectacular, the bragging point, the luxurious. When "glory" is seen, the world wants to lock it in place for the rest of time. Often, like Peter, we say things just to say things, to show that we are "with it". When a person is sick, we feel that we need to say things, because the world is uncomfortable with anything but champions. Sickness does not fit the spectacular. Yet, Jesus met illness head on. He did not only "talk the talk" but He acted in the situation. Granted, we are at a disadvantage because we cannot "do" miracles. Or, does that puts us in a better position. We do not need to cure, only to care. Sometimes silence says more about glory than speaking.
Look for the glory of God in everything, and live the hope and joy of Christ.