We started our journey in Genesis as God’s Spirit moved over the waters, and we close with fire and brimstone. Malachi warns, “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace” (Malachi 4:1). We hear echoes of Isaiah, “The mighty man will become tinder and his work a spark; both will burn together with no one to quench the fire” (Isaiah 1:31). There is hope, if we abide by God’s teaching. Malachi exhorts, “Remember the law of my servant Moses” (v. 4). Elijah will return on the day of the Lord to turn “the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (v. 6). Five hundred years later, an angel tells Zechariah that his son, John the Baptist, will turn “the hearts of the fathers to their children” (Luke 1:17). Could John the Baptist be Elijah, preparing the way for Jesus?
The final two psalms remind us that the Psalter was Israel’s prayer book, full of prayers of praise. Psalm 150 strikes a fitting finale of Hallelujah praise, with an orchestra to glorify God.
Today’s reading from Luke reminds us that God always calls his disciples to mission and to confess that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, and the keystone of our lives. This confession of faith does not protect us from all evil, for just as Jesus suffered, so will his followers. We must therefore pick up our cross daily and follow him.
Yet, we can expect rare moments of spiritual transcendence—like the disciples witnessing the Transfiguration—reminding us that we follow not a man but the Son of Man. Luke knows that prayer is vital. It guides us to the transfigured Christ. Jesus prays before multiplying the fish and loaves, before questioning his disciples, and before being transfigured.
How does prayer and reading the Bible prayerfully transfigure you and allow you to see the glory of God in Jesus, in others, and in yourself?
Are God’s praises frequently on your lips, and is your life a song of praise to God?
Almighty God, as you allowed the disciples to witness the transfigured glory of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, be now the God who transfigures us, so that our lives may reveal your glory as we journey among your people and carry your Word deep within our hearts. Amen.