Words of Faith
Rev. Rita S. Platt
February 15, 2015

“Shining Moments”

Mark 9:2-8

For many families Harry Potter has become a familiar friend. My grandchildren introduced me to this series and each year a different book in the series appeared on their Christmas lists. As time went on I became familiar with many of the characters. One of my special favorites became Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. (1) For most of the series, he is the headmaster of the wizarding school, Hogwarts.

Author J.K. Rowlings describes Professor Dumbledore this way: As a mentor to the central character Harry Potter, “Dumbledore is a very wise man who knows that Harry is going to have to learn a few hard lessons to prepare him for what may be coming in his life. He allows Harry to get into what he wouldn’t allow another pupil to do, and he also unwillingly permits Harry to confront things he’d rather protect him from.” (2)

In some ways the relationship Dumbledore had with Harry reminds me of Jesus and his followers.

Today is Transfiguration Sunday. The story is familiar; the account is recorded in three gospels – Matthew 17: 1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36 – all containing the same significant details: Jesus… a high mountain …Peter, James and John … the cloud of Presence … Moses and Elijah …and the light.

I have never read the accounts of the transfiguration without feeling a strong solidarity with Peter. He has to say something, and more than that, he has to do something. He can’t seem to just BE in the moment. Tabernacles would need to be erected to prolong this encounter and designate the spot as holy. At the same time he needs to freeze it in time. But Peter learns that sometimes there’s nothing to say and nothing to do. Sometimes all there is to do is stand there and soak in the holiness of the moment.

I think many of us have trouble doing that – being quiet and just soaking in the presence of God. So we miss the moments.  The strange thing is so many of us hunger for a real encounter with the Holy.

The light transfigured Moses, so he had to wear a veil. The light blinded Paul on the way to Damascus. You take the light in and you become the light. Peter, James and John will become leaders of the movement after Jesus returns to heaven.

The cycle repeats itself because things change…God wants to reveal God’s self in a new way ..that’s why it’s not about building tabernacles..because our experience with God must be forever fresh. We are called to experience the Light so that in the dark places in our families..our communities…in our church..we can reflect the Light.

Are we willing to let the light of Christ shine through us?

1.Hirsch, Anne-Christin (2008). Names and Their Underlying Mythology in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter-Novels. GRIN Verlag. p. 7.

2 Fry, Stephen (interviewer) (26 June 2003). “J.K. Rowling at the Royal Albert Hall”. MSN.com. Archived from the original on 23 April 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2011.