By Lindsay Schlegel
“And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun,
and his garments became white as light.”
The repeated images of brightness strike me in today’s Gospel reading. Jesus leads Peter, James, and John up to the top of a mountain where “his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light.” Peter misunderstands what’s before him, and when he offers to make booths for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, “a bright cloud overshadowed them,” from which the voice of God is heard. The disciples bow their heads, presumably with their eyes subject only to the shadows and darkness of their prostrate positions. “And when they lifted up their eyes,” that is when they opened themselves to the light again, “they saw no one but Jesus only.” Truly, Christ is our light.
The Light Shines in the Darkness
Most of us probably take light for granted. As I type these words, the blue light of my computer shines out at me, a trio of pendant lights brightens a space that would otherwise be dark at this time of night, and I realize that to the contemporary ear, calling Christ “light” doesn’t inspire tremendous awe.
We have light all around us whenever we want it. How many of us are reading this on phones that emit their own light, provide flashes for photography, and transform into a flashlight in an instant? Light is less of a luxury for us than it would have been for folks in Christ’s time, who either lived by the measures of the sun or extended that time through precious lamp oil.
So perhaps we twenty-first-century believers need to take a second look. What was the first thing you reached for the last time the power went out in your home? Some form of light to guide you. And as simple as it is, that’s exactly what Christ wants to be for us: a guiding light, a constant companion, a daily given—and help on-demand in times of crisis.
And the Darkness Has Not Overcome It
The darkness of the world can feel overwhelming sometimes. News at local, national, and international levels can be hard to stomach. Situations in our personal lives can feel out of control. And so we have to remind each other that Christ has already won the victory.
His light has already overcome the darkness. He showed His disciples at the top of the mountain. He showed a larger group when He appeared in His Resurrection. And He reminds us today in every red candle marking His Presence in every tabernacle around the world.
Christ is present in our lives, in our churches, and even in the darkest parts of our lives. Welcome His light into your life today, and then offer it to someone else who might need it even more.
Lord, when the world or my circumstances feel dark, and I am tempted to despair, help me remember the reality of Your Holy Light and the victory You have already won over the darkness of sin and death. Amen.
Call to Action
Reach out to someone experiencing darkness today in a simple gesture of listening and acknowledgment. Send a text, make a call, or share a prayer and light a candle.
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