The word 'Lent' means Spring. It is the time when nature renews itself. In the reading from Genesis, Abraham and Sarah are told by God to leave their own country and family and travel to a destination that had yet to be revealed. Their journey would take them from what is now Iraq to Canaan (present-day Israel), hundreds of miles away.It was a supreme act of faith for both of them and the foundation story of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. As they left their comfort zone, in Lent we are invited to leave ours.
The gospel story of the transfiguration comes after Jesus had begun to tell his disciples what is going to happen to him. They saw a glimpse of him in his glory, amidst what seems to have been a brief recapitulation of their Jewish history, in the figures of Elijah the prophet and Moses the Law-giver.
It was a key moment in the discipleship of Peter, James and John, in that they were caught in a moment of great joy: they saw their friend and master, Jesus, at the centre of God’s plan as it unfolded. Peter’s desire to make three tents was perhaps an attempt to encapsulate the experience, so they could stay in it forever. Instead they would see Jesus in stark contrast, a broken human being, dying on Calvary. However they would also witness him raised to new life, glorious as he had been on the mountain. As the Risen Lord he would change everything.