At our Sunday morning Bible Study, we looked at the passages for Transfiguration Sunday and spent some time reflecting on what mountain-top experiences mena for us in our lives. We also spent time with Peter, our patron and "teacher we learn from by NOT doing/saying what he does/says." The story is simple, a short time after Peter confesses that he thinks Jesus is the Messiah, Our Lord takes him, James and John up on a mountain to pray. There, something strange, wonderful and unnexpected happens. The disciples see Jesus transfigured before them-he is literally glowing with grace-and also perceive Moses and Elijah walking and talking with their rabbi. Confirmation of Jesus being anointed, surely...but what to do with that knowledge and experience?
Try to freeze it in time. That's Peter's impulse. "Lord, let me make three booths, one each for you, Moses and Elijah. Let's stay up here on the mountain."
Peter is experiencing the light of God, and yet he is lost in that light. The right thing to do, we find our later, is to follow Jesus' directive to file away the experience. Save it for later. For now, the Son of Man must be on his way to Jerusalem, to be lifted up and crucified...to be killed and laid in a tomb....to rise again. No time to waste.
Jesus' sense of purpose, his awareness of the light within him, is guiding the group at that point. He has clarity in himself and is able to navigate by the light of God the Father's will for him. Makes sense. Like a moth navigates by the light of the moon, that point of reference enables him to go from the mountain top to the Jerusalem road with a sense of purpose that we can only express a desire for in this life.
Peter, sadly, is distracted by sources of light that through his own perceptions are refracted. The light he navigates by right now is not so much the light of God's love. It is more like the odd porch- and streetlights that distract and confuse moths on their own moon-guided paths. It is not so much that light draws moths, I have learned from some nature show on television...it is that when another strong light source eclipses the true light of the moon, they lose their way.
What a metaphor for us as we seek to dial down the noise in our lives, the light pollution of a thousand, thousand sources of light in our lives that are NOT the light of Christ revealed around us.
Time to figure out how to be smarter than a moth.....