This last week has seen the outbreak of war with Russia invading the Ukraine. This is a time when so much seems uncertain and I don’t know about you but I feel confused and helpless. There is so much I don’t understand but I know we are called to pray. To cry out to God for peace and justice – I pray that the hearts of those set on war will be changed – I pray that there will be a miracle.

In church on Sunday our reading was from Luke 9:28-36 and was Luke’s account of the transfiguration. I spent some time contrasting this mountain top encounter of Jesus with one that took place on a hill outside Jerusalem

The transfiguration occurred on a mountain top – three disciples are witnesses – invited to come with Jesus. There were two people are either side of Jesus – Moses and Elijah representing the law and the prophets. In the transfiguration Jesus’ clothes appeared as bright as a flash of lightning – speaking of His radiance and majesty. Jesus spoke with the two alongside Him about the fulfilment in Jerusalem and the disciples witnessing this wanted to stay. A cloud then enveloped them and a voice from heaven declared “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” The disciples then descended and returned not telling anyone

The other account took place on a hill, though by this point the disciples had scattered, denying they knew Jesus, but a crowd gathered to observe the spectacle. There were two people either side of Jesus – this time criminals condemned by the Romans. Jesus clothes have been divided up and were gambled for - there was a sign above His head mocking Him reading THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. There was no shining radiance on this occasion– but rather a man condemned.

Jesus was taunted by some around Him but He spoke words of forgiveness. He spoke words of hope to the criminal alongside Him – He spoke of the paradise to come. On this occasion darkness covered the whole land and Jesus cried out – “into your hands I commit my spirit.” The voice this time doesn’t come from above but came from a soldier at the foot of the cross. “Surely this was a righteous man” The events on the hill outside the city wall was shared and transforms lives – because it is not the end – Jesus was placed in a tomb but it could not hold Him.

The transfigured, majestic, and radiant Christ of whom the voice from heaven says, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” chooses to make himself vulnerable for you and for me. In the midst of the suffering and uncertainty we are reminded of the hope.

We are invited to draw near to Christ, to journey with Him and to acknowledge Him in His suffering as well as His majesty. He is the one we worship, He is the one we cry out to in prayer for peace and justice. In an uncertain world He is the one we follow and in whom we have hope in all things


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