Archive for March 5th, 2023

Spring is coming … I see it in the sky.

There is light in the sky earlier in the mornings, later in the afternoons. My hubby mentions how light it is getting each and every evening. For me, it is the light in the morning sky, light emerging through the darkness giving hope to the new day.

As this season of lent continues, people around the world are considering the transfiguration of Jesus. The event where the temporal (worldly) and the spiritual meet in the person of Jesus. It is often said of this event that here we see how Jesus is made the bridge between us and God.

In the short accounts (Matthew, Mark and Luke) of this transfiguration are three very similar explanations of what occurred. Jesus took John, Peter and James up a mountain. he is transfigured and his clothing is beyond white, Moses and Elijah show up, a cloud descends and a voice (God) tells them to listen to what his Son says. That is quite a bit of theological information!

But, what grabs my attention,


is in Matthew 17:2:

There he was transfigured before them.
His face shone like the sun…

Like the sun … like the sun rising earlier each day as winter moves to spring. We are not there yet … spring. We are not there yet … on the other side of grief. But, we walk through this barren, dirty, dark place with the promise of hope … hope that after this inky season the sun will shine again … and we will see it, we will feel it, we will know it.

The only way to get to that season of light, though, is to walk through the valley of darkness.

In the Gospel accounts of the transfiguration, Jesus is walking up that mountain with his friends, those who would be witnesses to what was to happen. As they descended the mountain he tells them not to tell anyone of what they saw until after his death (except in Luke, where there is mention that they did not tell of it until after). He knew that death and mourning had to precede the light.

The thing is, I think his transfiguration is also a holy moment between he and his Father. A confirmation that his own purpose, his own glory would be shown only by walking on the painful, dark road to death.

In this, I believe, we can be reminded that

“in grief,
the only way out of the pain
is through the pain.”

David Kessler

I spent much time looking at paintings of the greats of this transformation of Jesus … and none of them shone bright enough, not right enough. I whispered to the empty room, there must be some image that adequately communicates this pivotal event!

And immediately an image came to mind (below). Just days before returning to the west coast, I was heading to the hospital to spend the day with brother and my eye was drawn to the East, to the rising of the sun. Then I saw it … just a fragment of a rainbow reflecting off the luminous sun. It jarred me at first and I wondered if he had passed (for signs are sometimes … signs). I even showed him when I reached the hospital (and he said he would do his best to show me a rainbow after …).

As I looked at the image today, I saw the cross shape in the sun. Known as a sun pillar, this is formed when ice crystals are slowly falling through the air. The cross and the rainbow. One a symbol of pain and suffering and the other a symbol of hope.

But, you can’t get to the hope without going through the pain of death. Just as Jesus couldn’t bring the glory of salvation, without first going through the pain of death.

 Let your light shine for all to see.
    For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you.
Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth,
    but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you.


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