This weekend is Saturday the 15th and Sunday the 16th of March, beginning the Second Week of Lent.

The monks of Pluscarden Abbey sing Assumpsit Jesus: ‘Jesus took Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, and he was transfigured in front of them.’

Lent is a great time for pausing and pondering, for reading more deeply and, perhaps, more slowly. Over the last week Jesus has been revealed to us in many different ways. He has taught us to Pray to the Father, in a way that is utterly simple, utterly profound. That with Him there is no need to be afraid, and that He is truly the Messiah sent by God.

He wants us to follow him, even though it’s going to be unpopular. Can I pause now and look deeply into myself, and as this account from the Gospel of Matthew is told, hear that call from Jesus to me to follow Him?

Imagine yourself as a fifth member of the party, going up the mountain with Jesus leading the way, Peter beside him, and James and John following too. The last days and weeks have been utterly bewildering. Nothing like this has happened to you before, or to any of the others. Within a short time, you’ve got to the point where you really do believe that Jesus is God’s Messiah, his anointed one, the one who will make God’s kingdom a reality on earth as in heaven. But how is this going to happen? What will it mean?

And then something else is happening. Jesus is talking to two men. Then Peter is speaking. ‘This is it! This is wonderful! Let’s stay here forever! We can make booths right here, for you, Jesus, for Moses and for Elijah!’ This is heaven on earth – heaven and earth coming together at last. And then this voice. People said they heard a voice when Jesus was baptized by John, and now it comes again. ‘This is my Son, my Beloved; I am delighted in him. You must listen to him.’ Did you imagine it? No, you all heard it, and you all found your legs giving way underneath you with sheer terror. And then it was over. Just Jesus by himself. Don’t tell anyone, he says, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.

This was all as bewildering and confusing in the 1st century as it is for us, reading it today. But what goes through your head as all this happens? And what is stirred in your heart?

As the passage is read again, try to listen, to imagine what Jesus, Moses and Elijah have to say to each other.

Can I ask the Lord Jesus, Son of the living God, to show me His glory, and give me ears to listen to what He has to say to me.