II Peter 1.16-19; Psalm 96; Matthew 17.1-9
Jesus took three of his disciples—Peter and the brothers James and John—up into a mountain (traditionally Mount Tabor) where his glory was revealed to them. He was seen in deep conversation with Moses and Elijah (representing the Law and the Prophets) and a heavenly voice declared him the Son of God. This revelation was evidently intended to strengthen the faith of the disciples for the trying times which lay ahead.
Strikingly, on the night of his betrayal and arrest, Jesus took these same three disciples with him into a secluded place where, once again, his Glory was revealed as he set himself to fulfil his Father’s will. The disciples were apparently neither strengthened by this, nor were they able to serve as support for him. Instead, they slept.
“We saw his glory” St John’s Gospel [1.14] declares. This feast commemorates that vision and its grace gives us strength for the trying times we have to face in our time and circumstances. May we recognise the Glory of Christ alike in his trials and in his eternal glorification.