This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him. – Matthew 17:5
My Dear Friends in Christ,
It’s the real thing. This advertising slogan of Coca Cola goes back to the early 1970’s, heralding Coke’s new direction that responded to “research which shows that young people seek the real, the original and the natural as an escape from phoniness.” It’s not just young people who seek authenticity, integrity and the “real thing.” We live in a world that often reduces people to a façade and God to irrelevant. As disciples, we seek more; we seek the genuine Presence and Power of God even as it is offered in humble vessels like Jesus. Like ourselves.
The Transfiguration confirms that Jesus is the “Real Thing”. The Transfiguration shows Son of God (Mt 17:5) and points to His coming in all His Father’s glory at the end of time (Mt 16:27). But it also scares the bejeebers out of Peter, James, and John. Too often we wrap God up in a packaging that limits who God is and how God works. Here God shows us what’s real, working beyond our human understanding, demonstrating the power and the glory that are His alone. But Jesus also demonstrates that this glory comes only through love and suffering, through sacrifice and service. As Jesus comes back down the mountain and the show of God’s Glory, He re-enters the lesser reality of everyday human life, the questions and confusion of his disciples, a sick child who needs healing, the suffering road that leads to Jerusalem and death.
We have to look and listen beyond the everyday realities of our own lives to climb the “mountain “and see what (or WHO) is truly Real. It is through the everyday and through you and I as sons and daughters of God.
God is always present to us, always offering a share in His Glory. But sometimes we get sidetracked as we face the challenges of our lives, the busy-ness of our days, and the urgent needs of those we love. We struggle to find the time that will allow us to “climb the mountain” and spend even a brief moment with God, to focus on what’s truly real. Take some quiet time this week, allow God to draw you up the mountain and show you what’s real. God’s the real thing. Just Do It.