Pastor’s Corner – February 11, 2024

The Mystery of Transfiguration 

I don’t know how many hours you spend on digital platforms like TikTok, Meta, Facebook, X and Snap and the list can go on depending on which app you prefer (I confess I spend way too much time than I should). So, we leave an incredible amount of digital footprints and it’s becoming impossible to have any sense of privacy anymore. The sum of our digital identities are bought and sold, commodified and used for the purpose of capitalism. And children are especially vulnerable, as a recent hearing before the Senate committee on child safety by CEOs of popular social media platforms demonstrates (conclusion? it’s not safe for kids). We know as adults that the representation of digital self is not real, even the sum of all the images online. However, we are not immune either but seduced to live in a culture dominated by images; commercial brands, mental health issues with teens trying to keep up with appearances and politicians selling tough images rather than policy (popularity contest!). We have reduced everything to images!

Listen! I have something to tell you. The Transfiguration of our Lord is not an appearance. It’s not a digital image or character developed by AI. You can’t find it on social media. It’s not a representation. Jesus’ appearance with Moses and Elijah is not staged as an image to be bought or sold. It’s not even an illusion or hallucination of a fractured mind. The Transfiguration of our Lord on the mountaintop is the reality of the divine in raw form, the true and authentic Jesus before his disciples. Boom! Dropped by God before his disciples! Now deal with it!  We behold Jesus as he really is. For a brief moment his followers see him in post-resurrection form, a promise of life to come. 

So when there is no digital image to mediate between Jesus and his disciples, the Transfiguration experience demands an unfiltered direct relationship. We can’t package this to go viral nor camp around to contain it. The Transfiguration is a great mystery of God in raw form. Then the question, “Who is Jesus?” begs another question disciples must ask, “Who is Jesus to me?” And paradoxically in response to Jesus’ authentic reality, we need to answer the question, “Who am I?” The Transfiguration of our Lord forces us to examine who we really are…

Pastor Dae