We were on a fishing trip on Lake Superior. My wife, my brother, a fishing guide, and I were in an open boat, soaked to the skin from a fierce thunderstorm. Thankful to be alive after the hail, wind, and rain of that sudden downpour, we had beached our boat on a sandbar to dump the water from our boat. Now, as we began to motor across the lake, the sun setting on our day, we looked to the north and saw towering thunderheads illuminated by the internal lightning and the setting sun. We were safe. The boat was afloat. And we were heading for the shore, our vehicle, and supper. It was BEAUTIFUL! (I had even caught some walleyes!)
That event reminded me of something the Psalmist had said so well in our reading. “The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge!” (Psalm 50:6) The now glass-calm lake surface, the evening sky, and our own safety reminded me of God’s care and blessing! For me, at least, what God could have done and what He did do were wrapped up in that moment. As the Psalmist confessed in verse one of our reading: “The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.” (Psalm 50: 1)
I will carry and cherish the events of that stormy day and its aftermath! The Psalmist said it well:
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest. He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people: "Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!"
On this Transfiguration Sunday we have the opportunity to once again stand in awe of our mighty God, to experience some of His majestic power and might, and consider again why Jesus Christ came into this world. He came to seek and save sinners like you and me. Jesus came to destroy Satan and his power. Jesus came to fulfill His Father’s will for mankind by living a perfectly sinless life, dying an absolutely innocent death, and rising victorious over sin, death and the devil on the third day to assure His followers that they would share in His majesty and glory in heaven!
So, with the Psalmist we say, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; and His mercy endures forever!” In Jesus’ name. Amen.