God is there, perceive it or not (Matthew 17:1-9)

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. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, ‘Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’

The changing seasons and festivals of the church year are one of the great treasures of the liturgical tradition, and it’s interesting how often high and low points seem to alternate.  This past Sunday we celebrated the feast of Christ’s transfiguration – the revelation of his divine nature to certain of his disciples in a visible way.  Tomorrow we commemorate Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the solemn penitential season of Lent.  The tragedy of Good Friday is recalled every year, followed three days later by the highest point of the church year, Easter Day.  Come December, the reflective waiting period of Advent will usher in the celebrations of Christmas for another year.

In the same way our own walk of faith is characterised  by higher and lower points.  Times when we might feel closer to God, and times when God feels entirely absent.  Times when our faith makes us feel like celebrating, and times it can make us feel guilty and downright depressed.  Such is human nature.

The one constant throughout every season of the church calendar is God as he has been revealed to us through Jesus Christ.  It can be very difficult sometimes to come to the same conclusion about our own lives.  But God is there, whether we perceive it or not.

As surely as Good Friday comes around every year there will come those times when it feels like we have been foresaken by God, or God feels dead to us.  As surely as Advent leads on to Christmas the light of Christ will shine into the darkest corners of our lives again.  The cycle continues, and there is probably not much we can do about that!