Our focus Bible reading is Matthew 17:1–9. This Sunday marks the end of the Season after the Epiphany. It is also “Transfiguration Sunday,” a day when we hear a story about the glory of God shining through Jesus.
The Greek word translated as “transfigured” means that a person changes deep within. Transfiguration may have meant that something completely new was happening within Jesus. The story of the transfiguration of Jesus echoes the story of Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:29–35). In all situations, God’s voice is heard from within and coming down from heaven. Also, Jesus’ face shines as Moses’ did as he was coming down from Mount Sinai.
Jesus takes James, Peter, and John with him “up a high mountain.” Jesus later asks these three to remain with him while praying in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37). All three were major figures in the early church. Peter became a leader among the disciples. John, whom many believe is the one referred to as “the beloved disciple,” was very close to Jesus. This mountain-top experience with his disciples, reveals Jesus not merely in the details of “shining,” but in the words of God’s favor and summons the disciples to listen to Jesus as they live into God’s realm.
Young people are often quite comfortable accepting stories about amazing experiences and mystery without much explanation. At our time together, we will wonder about God’s words to the disciples and the glory of God shining through Jesus. Also, Jesus’ words, “do not be afraid,” make it possible for Peter, James, and John –and for us– to engage in the challenging call of discipleship.
As our youth use their imaginations, they will have the opportunity to place themselves in the story and ask about their place in the world. After a short meditation and discussion, young people will be encouraged to look for the often-simple places where the love of God shines forth in the world and they will have a chance to share their own experiences if they wish.
All children and youth are welcome to join us for Bible story time and activities on the 2nd floor after the time of conversation with the pastor. Childcare is available for children 4 and under on the 2nd floor as well.