Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Face Transfigured

Note: Sunday, February 7 can be identified as either Epiphany 5C or Transfiguration Sunday. This post addresses the texts for Transfiguration C Sunday. If you are looking for the Epiphany 5C texts, go here.

On a mountain. Bright white light. Face made to look a new and surprising way. Surrounding figures from the heavenly realm. Yes to all of the above in the picture below. It is Transfiguration.
Tintoretto. Moses Receives the Law. 1560-1562. Venice: Madonna dell'Orto.
Except that the picture shows Moses. So it isn't technically THE Transfiguration.

Really, this is Tintoretto's version of Moses receiving the two tablets of the law. Moses is illuminated until he is white. His arms are outstretched in a gesture that resembles Christ on the cross.  What the artist has done is draw the connection between the two texts.

How often does God act in history doing the same thing? A child is born against seemingly impossible odds. God elevates a younger brother or sister above an older sibling. God relates to people in a new way through a trip to a mountaintop. The third example is the story here. Two trips to a mountaintop, and on the return trip back down the mountain, people know God in a new way. So Jesus and Moses are transfigured, but through the law and the Word, all God's people have the power to be transformed. Thanks be to God.

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