The Transfiguration: full of light



The feast of the Transfiguration. This is a great day, full of possibility and giftedness…


The Saviour's Transfiguration, early15th C, Tretyakov Gallery, attributed to Theophanes the Greek
The Saviour’s Transfiguration, early 15th Century icon, from the Tretyakov Gallery, attributed to Theophanes the Greek



In a dazzling moment on the mountain God is revealed as Trinity: the Father’s voice, Jesus the Son transfigured, the Spirit presence in the cloud.

Jesus is revealed as the Christ – the ‘Small Epiphany’ after the great Epiphany of the Baptism of Jesus. He is still human, earthy, one of us – but he is also revealed to be divine, limitless, full of light and love. And so too transfiguration – deep change towards light and love – is revealed as a possibility in us and in the world.

But this is not just about us changing for the better (as important as that is). The Transfiguration reveals our true reality and destiny. For a moment our own humanity is broken open, and we glimpse our at-oneness with God, what theologians call ‘theosis’, our ‘deification’ and what St Peter described as ‘an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading.’ (2 Peter 1.4). You and I are full of divine light and love…


  1. Stephen Winter (@mail_winter) Posted on August 6, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Thank you so much for this, Ian, both for your words & for Theophanes’ wonderful icon with the disciples cast to the ground in confusion & trees bursting out of the rock as the uncreated light brings them into being. I can’t help but reflect on this moment both in the light of the violence that will be done to Jesus & the violence of our own times too. The hope of transfiguration has never been a comfortable one.

  2. Nel Shallow Posted on August 6, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Thank you Ian for both your words and the icon imagery.
    Reading the Transfiguration Scripture passages this morning I noticed the opening words; ‘After six days’ ~ did the Transfiguration take place on the seventh day? .. a Sabbath, rest-filled, divine revelation day of wonder and epiphany x

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