“Better Than a Dream”

On March 3, Pastor Katy preaches on Luke 9:28-36, 37-43.

28 “Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now 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. 33 Just 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. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!’ 36 When 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.”

37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38 Just then a man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. 39 Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once heshrieks. It convulses him until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. 40 I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41 Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 And all were astounded at the greatness of God.

Transfiguration Sunday is always the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. We remember the story of Jesus’ transfiguration before the disciples where the glory of God is revealed in a dream-like experience. The disciples don’t fully know how to respond to this mountaintop experience, but when it is all over, they must head back down the mountain. The following day, a desperate father begs Jesus to heal his son and he does. The two stories are not bound together by chance, and while we typically spend this Sunday focusing on God’s glory revealed on the mountaintop, in the wake of our denomination’s General Conference this past week, it seems far more appropriate to spend some time in the second story. God’s glory is revealed in the transfiguration, but perhaps even more so back on the ground. God’s true glory is revealed in Jesus’ healing, in mundane daily life, and in the bread and cup of Holy Communion. We are in need of healing, but it might not come from some huge revelation of God, but rather in the revelation of God’s glory through the things of daily life.