AMERICA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL JOURNAL OF RELIGION AND
(August 6, except for Anglicans (” An Australian Lectionary” when it occurs just before Lent 7th february 2016)
On most Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox liturgical calendars today marks the Feast of the Transfiguration. For conservative evangelicals, the transfiguration has apologetic weight since it points toward the deity of Christ. As important as this aspect of the transfiguration might be, however, it’s greater significance resides elsewhere. Standing between Jesus’s baptism and ascension, Christian tradition interprets this event both in its iconography and doxology as a revelation of Christ’s divinity, a foretaste of the eschaton, and a pledge of the perfectibility of the human person.
It is a moment of ecstasy on the part of the disciples in which they behold with unveiled faces the deified Christ. Maximus the Confessor and Gregory Palamas bring out the full meaning for the Orthodox tradition as the manifestation of divine power in the beauty of the transfigured Christ. The body of Christ became translucent when the Taboric light illuminated every dimension thereby underscoring both his divine nature and the complete transformation of creation.
One finds the connection between power, participation in the divine nature, and transfiguration in Second Peter. The epistle begins by linking divine power and sharing in God’s own life (2 Pet. 1:3) before declaring that the proclamation of “the power and coming of Christ” came through the testimony of the majesty revealed on the holy mountain (2 Pet. 1:16-18). In this way, the epistle fuses the divine power that transforms believers with the glory of Christ at his transfiguration. For Mark’s Gospel, the connection occurs almost immediately as Jesus’s statement that some “will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power” prefaces the event of the transfiguration (Mark 9:1-2).. ..[..]