A break that includes a hike.

Jesus and Peter and James and John go for a hike, up a mountain.

1,500 feet or 9,000 feet (there are some disagreements about which mountain it was, exactly.) John, James, and Peter saw Jesus with robes whiter than any laundry person could bleach them. They saw Elijah and Moses standing with Jesus, chatting. Moses was finally in the promised land.

And Jesus got his break.

You know how sometimes you tell a story and you have to explain everything.

Or you are talking about the really hard parts of doing your work, and someone says, “remind me what you do again?” Or sometimes, you are in another country, another culture, having to speak another language all the time.

And then you get a break. You are with people from home.

I call it, “being able to use big words.”

Jesus was wearing the clothing that was his. He had the inner glorious glow that was his.

We read about Moses having a glow from being with God. Jesus had the glow because he was God.

Luke says that Elijah and Moses talked with him about what was going to happen, about his departure, about his death.

It was, for Jesus’s humanity a reminder of Jesus’s divinity.

You know, for some of us, we need that reminder. That in the middle of all our pain, we need to be reminded that we belong to God. We need to remember that this life isn’t all that there is.


For the disciples, this is an amazing moment. The people from their history gathered in front of them.

The text quotes Peter, and says that he didn’t know what he was saying.

That’s not a criticism, actually. That’s Peter calling out himself.

Peter, who told these stories to Mark. John doesn’t mention this scene. James died in the early days of the church. Peter is the one who told on himself, Peter is the one who realized that he was overwhelmed with the moment.

A moment that disoriented him. He wanted it to last. But it couldn’t. Jesus had work to do.


Peter spoke, God spoke, and everything went back to normal. Jesus was alone and in his dingy-looking clothes.

Of all the lessons that seize me from this story, one lingers.

Don’t be too quick to demand understanding from our experiences with God. We don’t yet have all the data. We may not be to the A-ha moment. We just keep climbing up and down, following while we wait.