This Lord’s Day is the last Sunday of Epiphany. This Lord’s Day is the culmination of this season as well as the culmination of Advent and Christmas; it also looks forward to the coming season of Lent which is the story that leads to Good Friday and Easter. This Sunday is also called Transfiguration Sunday. Today we remember and celebrate the event in Christ’s life when he and his disciples were on the mountain and he was transfigured. His face and clothing became bright white and shone with light, and Elijah and Moses appeared with him talking about the Exodus that he was about to perform in Jerusalem (Lk. 9:31). Again, God’s voice thundered from heaven, and he said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mt. 17:5). Here God reveals Jesus to be his Son, his beloved Son, his all glorious one, arrayed in white, but we must notice that he is discussing his coming Exodus in Jerusalem. The Exodus that he will perform is his arrest and betrayal, his suffering under Pontius Pilot, and his crucifixion and death. God is revealing his Son, his all glorious Son, as the one who has been chosen to suffer and die. Because this is the pattern of Christ, this pattern is common in the lives of God’s people: first comes God’s word to you and his gifts. He declares that you are forgiven, you are his people, and he delights in you. He baptizes you, he forgives you, he gives you his gifts of bread and wine, and seats you with glory at his table. But this is all preparation for Lent and Good Friday. In other words, if you want to follow Jesus, you must recognize that this is a call to take up a cross, to suffer, and to die. God reveals the glory of Jesus in the Transfiguration as a glimpse of the full glory of the resurrection and ascension. But the path to glory is the way of struggle, pain, suffering, and hardship. But this is not cause for despair; this is cause for rejoicing. You are the beloved of God, and he is growing you up, maturing you. Trust him; he is your faithful God.