Transfiguration Sunday: In the Turning

Image: Transfiguration © Jan Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Transfiguration Sunday, Year B: Mark 9.2-9

The story of the Transfiguration is about opening our eyes
to glory, allowing that glory to alter us, and becoming willing
to walk where it leads us.

—from Transfiguration Sunday: When Glory
The Painted Prayerbook, February 2014

In our ten years here at The Painted Prayerbook, we have traveled through many Transfiguration Sundays! As we approach the day once again, I have gathered up for you a selection of the reflections that I’ve offered here for Transfiguration Sunday across the past decade.

Revisiting these reflections, I have been struck all over again by how this coming Sunday is a threshold day in the rhythm of the Christian year. The end of the Epiphany season is upon us, and Lent has almost-but-not-quite begun. As we stand at the edge of this turning of seasons, the strange and wondrous story of Jesus’ mountaintop journey seems almost to unfold outside of time, or at least to collapse the bounds of time as the trio of puzzled and dazzled disciples witness Jesus’ exchange with Moses and Elijah.

Yet this story draws the disciples—and us—deeply back into time. As they return down the mountain, they reenter the rhythm of time by which Jesus engages the world and the work he has come to do within it. In their reentering, revelation begins to settle in; Peter, James, and John can no longer see Jesus or the world as they had once done. What they witnessed on the mountaintop, they have not left behind. What they saw there now infuses what—and how—they see here, as they live on level ground.

And for us? On this threshold that draws us from one season into another, what will the story of the Transfiguration invite us to see? How will we allow that seeing to alter us, that we may enter the world again and again in the company of the Christ who travels with us in every moment?

Here are a handful of reflections for you, for this Transfiguration Sunday. I offer them with many blessings.

Transfiguration Sunday: When Glory
Transfiguration Sunday: Dazzling
Transfiguration: Back to the Drawing Board
Transfiguration Sunday: Show and (Don’t) Tell

Using Jan’s artwork…
To use the image “Transfiguration,” please visit this page at (This is also available as an art print. After clicking over to the image’s page on the Jan Richardson Images site, just scroll down to the “Purchase as an Art Print” section.) Your use of helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

3 Responses to “Transfiguration Sunday: In the Turning”

  1. Anne Kern Says:

    thank you Jan. As inspiring as ever! In fact you inspired me to start a poetry group. we meet monthly after spending time in a chosen passage from the lectionary. this last week we shared our work on the transfiguration; I thought I would share mine with you all. thank you Jan . I stand indebted. peace

    When time stood still

    Is and was and will be
    Time and space become one
    Prophets of old
    Stand with God
    Speaking now
    As if
    Time never was
    Finite brains
    Bend not into
    This passage
    Time and space intersect
    On the graph of eternal life

  2. Charlotte Ferris Says:

    I’ve used your printed books for years as a guide for personal prayer. However, I am new to this blog as well as your FB page. I downloaded The Path We Make by Dreaming retreat. Beautiful in both word and image, the retreat has opened a few cracks in my heart and let the warmth of healing touch tender places.

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing your heart and work! May you be blessed in like kind.

  3. Jill Kemshed Says:

    Jan reading your reflections is as always an inspiration to me & so many others. However, reading your reflections on Transfiguration Sundays is particularly poignant for me as my beloved late husband & I were married at a beautiful little Church called The Church of The Transfiguration. It is in a lovely little Glen lined with Pine trees. Such happy memories of a wonderful day & 54 such happy years.As all of us who have lost the love of our life, including yourself, memories are what we hang on to. & I am reminded of them so often by your readings, thank you so very much for the help you give to so many of us, such a genuine & compassionate lady. Jill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *