I mention in my devotion on the prayer of the day a conversation I had a number of years ago in a gathering pastors. A young pastor was incensed after his visit to a remote Mexican village. He had seen in the church a richly ornate and beautiful chalice. It was clearly costly. His argument was that such a thing could have been sold and the money used to better the lives of the people in the village, perhaps going to a good school or a medical clinic or better water.
His argument was hard to resist. I had planned to argue that in a perfect world, but in fact, there is a good chance that the money realized from the sale of the chalice would not likely result in much benefit, at least not lasting benefit for the poor. It would likely be skimmed off by corruption.
My friend Larry, however, had a much better argument and I am glad that I made room for him to articulate it. He asked who drank from the chalice. He noted that the humble poor of that village may well have been quite pious. They lived lives of crushing poverty, bad water, bad education, bad health care, all sorts of bad things. But once a week, when they came to church, they got to drink from a chalice which was fit for a king. They were all heirs of heaven, princes of the eternal kingdom of God, sons and daughters of God. Once a week, in a moment when they received the blood of Christ, they got to live in that world of the wealth which God had given to them.
In the Transfiguration, we get a moment to experience heaven’s glory. Like a poor man, laboring in the fields and misery of this world, we come to church today to get a glimpse of what is to come and what Christ has accomplished. Jesus shines with an otherworldly light, communes with saints of old, hears the blessing of God.
It is too much for Peter. He babbles. It is likewise not the daily diet we can withstand, not yet. But someday, some glorious day, when Jesus calls us from graves and we stand, finally rid of that old Adam and only the New Man remains, then we shall see him in all His glory and our glory as well.