Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. – Matthew 17:1-3 (NRSV)
What. Were. They. Saying?!?
Questions about the particulars of this moment abound: Did Jesus know it was about to happen? Were the face and clothes the whole of the transfiguration, or did he change his form too, maybe into something real Bible-y like a leviathan or something? How did the onlookers know it was Moses and Elijah that showed up? I mean, would you know who those two were if they appeared at your elbow right now without nametags?
Me, I’d give just about anything to hear what those three have to say to one another—and how they say it. Are they jolly and blithe, members of the same fraternity? Formal like delegates to the U.N.? All dreamy tones and thousand-yard stares, like Elrond and Galadriel?
Luke gives an answer over in his Gospel, but Matthew seems to want us to wonder. To pray about it and talk about it with other people who care. To ask a bunch of spiritual adepts and world-class prophets what they think. Which is why I’m writing to you.
The liberator of the people, he of the magic staff and split sea and wanderer in the desert, roars up riding shotgun in Elijah’s chariot of fire with something to say to the son of God. The two climb out, open their mouths, and say—what?
Why don’t you head on over to the Daily Devotional Facebook page and tell us what you think?
Sanctify our imaginations, God, and grant us a little holy eavesdropping. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is Chaplain of the Protestant Cooperative Ministry at Cornell University. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.