28Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 36When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
God makes it clear when God says, “THIS IS MY SON, MY BELOVED - LISTEN TO HIM!”
Jesus is the Son of God - the chosen one - the one whom we are commanded to listen to. Jesus is the Chosen One - the one who is able to carry us into the presence of God - the one who gives peace - the one who gives joy - the one who gives victory over sin and death.
Sometimes I think we forget this. Sometimes I think we fall into our daily routines without a thought about the divinity that surrounds us, without any real awareness of the power that surrounds us and holds us up. We have business to do, we have people to see, we have kids to move from A to B to C and back again.
And in the bustle - in the hurry - in the work that we do we lose track of where we are going; we lose track of whose we are and what has been promised to those who are attentive to him.
I dare say that everyone here today takes time to talk to God - that everyone here prays to God on a regular basis, - that everyone here asks God for his help - if not for yourselves - then for others.
That is good. But how many of us here today actually listen to God?
How many of us here in our time of prayer stop talking, - stop reading, - stop thinking about what concerns us and simply listen, - listen to the point where you can hear your pulse beating in your ears and feel the air moving steadily and strongly in and out of your lungs. - listen to the point where images began to dance on the back of your eyelids and the spirit begins to put words upon your hearts, words that you do not think about - words that come from somewhere within you - words of praise and of assurance, words of guidance and of comfort.
How many of us wait upon the Lord until he answers - until he speaks - until he graces us with a dream or a vision - or a set of words - or an experience wherein his will is revealed to us.
How many of us go apart for a while as did Jesus and as did his disciples - and listen to the wind and the rain - and gaze upon the moon and the stars - and enter into the silence that lies within these things - the silence where the words of Christ are not only remembered - but rise fresh and new?
A friend of mine some years ago asked the question - how many people actually have the kind of experience or vision like that which is described in today's gospel? And if we do - so what?
This is my Son, my chosen one, listen to him... Listen to him. Are you afraid today? Are you troubled? Then today is a time to step aside for a while, to find the quiet space in which you can pour out your heart to God, to climb the mountain of transfiguration and to fix your eyes upon the fire and the cloud of God's presence, and to pray - and to listen.
And as we gather for worship, we make time to allow the ordinary bread and wine of our existence to be held up before God and transformed by his love into the body and blood of Christ.
We make time to allow the liturgy and the message to be the work and word of God in our hearts.
Each one of us is invited into the tabernacle, each one of us is invited to climb the mountain, each one of us is invited to enter the holy of holies, into the place where God abides and to then carry the light that shines upon us in these places into the world - into the place where not only we see it - but others may see it as well.
Listen to my Son, who I have chosen. Listen to the one whose face not only shone - but his entire being, for in listening we ourselves will be transformed, and God's perfect light will cast out the darkness of sin and death.
Let us pray: Speak to us God. We are listening. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.