Principal's Message (13 October, 2023)
Today, we read about the Transfiguration. I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to be there and how it would have felt. We know the three disciples were frightened, but to see Jesus in all his glory like that – what an amazing mountaintop experience!
Can you think of a time when you’ve had a mountaintop experience?
It’s a natural human inclination to want mountaintop experiences. It’s also a natural inclination to want to hold on to them. These amazing experiences are so good that we want to stay in that place forever – or for as long as possible – and to savour it.
Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah’ (Mark 9:5).
Peter, of course, was being Peter, so he came up with a solution for this. He wanted to build three shelters: one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah, right there on the mountaintop. Then he could visit at any time to recapture this unique experience.
We might smile or even outright laugh at Peter’s suggestion, but did you know that the Crusaders actually did build three chapels on Mount Tabor? Now, there is the Church of the Transfiguration that contains them. The Chapel of Elijah is located in the south tower; the north tower holds the Chapel of Moses.
We want to stay there on the mountaintop, but we can’t. Sooner or later, we must leave the mountain and go back down to the real world, and the glory quickly fades. Life happens, death happens, we battle our own demons, we find ourselves in a valley, and the mountaintop seems so far away.
The wonderful thing is that Jesus is also there with us in the valley. He’s not just on the mountaintop. Jesus comes into our grief, fear, doubt, confusion and circumstances. When we look to him and at him, the other stuff fades away. We can experience a bit of the mountaintop in the wonder and joy of his presence and love right where we are.
- Devotion via https://www.lca.org.au/