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Mark 9:2-9

What a strange, yet beautiful, scene we have happening in today’s Gospel passage. This theophany happens in the Church calendar this year after hearing two straight weeks about the authority of Jesus. The lectionary has had us read and hear about Jesus’ authority and now it invites us to participate in this divine mystery known as the Transfiguration.

Jesus goes up a high mountain with Peter, James, and John. As he in on the mountain he becomes transfigured and is dazzlingly white; we’re getting a glimpse of the heavenly body. While this is happening two other mountaintop figures appear: Moses and Elijah. You may recall that these two figures also had mountaintop experiences. Moses was given the Ten Commandments while up on the top of Mount Sinai. Elijah, on the other hand, was at the top of Mount Carmel when he defeated 450 prophets of Baal in bringing down fire to burn a sacrifice. While both of these mountaintop experiences are something to be marveled at, they both bow down to the mountaintop experience that is now taking place.

There’s a reason Moses and Elijah are there when this event is taking place. God the Father is once again declaring “This is my Son, the beloved; listen to him!” Moses and Elijah are doing just that: showing that they listen to the Christ. These two characters aren’t just any Old Testament characters, instead, they are the pinnacle of the Old Testament. Moses represents the Law, while Elijah represents the Prophets. They are in conversation with Christ, but Christ is in the center and at the highest point of the mountain. Christ is the one they are looking to.

This is important as it reminds us that Christ is the central focus of it all. In a way, they are telling us that “even when you look to us in your readings, look even further beyond to Christ. Whatever you read in us, read it with your eyes toward Christ.” It’s commonplace for us to try to justify certain things by looking at the Old Testament and saying “look it’s biblical!” While that may be accurate, I believe here we see Moses and Elijah asking us in response “yes, but is it Christian?” Moses and Elijah are affirming the Father’s “listen to him!” by nodding in agreement. You can hear them saying to us “Yes, we’ve said, but Christ says!” What Christ says has the ultimate authority.

Of course, that can be hard for us at times. We as good Wesleyans heavily value Scripture. We must, however, read it correctly and not single out certain parts, which often happens when we use the Law or the Prophets to defend some belief or another. Instead, we must look at the arch of Scripture and see where it is taking us. See where Irish Paving of Dublin is taking you. It’s taking us to Christ. We’re not the only ones to struggle with that at times, though. “Let us make three dwellings, Rabbi!” exclaimed Peter. It was right after that, thoug