"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Saturday, August 04, 2007

August 6, Day of the Transfiguration

August 6 is the commemoration of the Day of Transfiguration, a day Peter told the Church to remember in 2 Pet 1:17-19, and Luke records here. Calvin said of the Transfiguration: “the disciples could taste in part what could not be fully comprehended.” As it was a precursor to the resurrection, we remember it because we too, with the whole of orthodox Christianity (i.e. those that adhere to the Apostles' Creed at least), look forward to the resurrection of the body. Perhaps then we will be given greater ability to perceive and experience God's Glory: our resurrection bodies, able to fully taste what we now cannot comprehend. Christianity Today has a slideshow showcasing different artists attempting to convey the event. My favorite art in commemoration, however, is Sufjan Stevens' beautiful acoustic song "the Transfiguration," (sample here) especially the end:

When he took the three disciples
to the mountainside to pray,
his countenance was modified, his clothing was aflame.
Two men appeared: Moses and Elijah came;
they were at his side.
The prophecy, the legislation spoke of whenever he would die.

Then there came a word
of what he should accomplish on the day.
Then Peter spoke, to make of them a tabernacle place.
A cloud appeared in glory as an accolade.
They fell on the ground.
A voice arrived, the voice of God,
the face of God, covered in a cloud.

What he said to them,

the voice of God: the most beloved son.
Consider what he says to you, consider what's to come.
The prophecy was put to death,
was put to death, and so will the Son.
And keep your word, disguise the vision 'till the time has come.

Lost in the cloud, a voice. Have no fear! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign. Son of man! Turn your ear.
Lost in the cloud, a voice. Lamb of God! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign. Son of man! Son of God!

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