"O wondrous type! O vision fair, Of glory that the Church may share, Which Christ upon the mountain shows, Where brighter than the sun He glows!
"With Moses and Elijah nigh, The incarnate Lord holds converse high; And from the cloud the Holy One, Bears record to the only Son."
Have you ever wondered what heaven will be like? We know we will be in the presence of God, "at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8b). Do you imagine streets of gold and jeweled walls, as the heavenly city is described in the book of Revelation? Perhaps you think of heaven in terms of paradise, a lush, green garden, a place to walk with God as Adam and Eve once did in Eden. Our hymn points us to another "vision fair" of eternity, to Him who is both way and goal, both aim and end. This vision is a "wondrous type," that is, a glimpse into the future or, as film-goers might say, "a preview of a coming attraction."
Not long before He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, Jesus took three of His disciples, Peter, James, and John, up to a high mountain. There the Lord, who took on human flesh for the sake of our salvation, briefly clothed Himself in the divine majesty that was His from all eternity. His face shone like the sun and His clothing like white light. The prophets Moses and Elijah, already enjoying eternal rest, appeared beside the glorified Savior. Together the three held "converse high" as they discussed "His departure, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem" (Luke 9:31b).
We would like to have listened in on that conversation, as the Lord Jesus and His faithful prophets spoke of His "departure," His exodus, that is, His coming death, resurrection, and ascension. Yet we don't really need to know all that was said on that mountain because this "vision fair" of Jesus in exalted glory gives us a glimpse of what lies ahead for us, "of glory that the Church may share." Washed clean from our sins in the blood of the Lamb, we—by God's grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit—follow as He leads us out of sin's slavery into the promised land of eternal life in His presence.
The glorious vision was not quite finished. From a bright cloud, the voice of God the Father bore witness to His Son in words we are privileged to hear: "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him" (Matthew 17:5b). The terrified disciples fell face down to the ground until Jesus came and touched them. Then, no doubt to their great relief, they "saw no one but Jesus only" (Matthew 17:8b). This was the Jesus they knew and loved. This is the Jesus we know and love, the Savior we follow until our exodus comes and we finally see Him face-to-face.
THE PRAYER: Lord of majesty and might, help us by Your Spirit to listen to You and to follow You faithfully until we see and share for all eternity the glory You have won for us. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair!" which is found on page 413 of the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Do you ever wonder what God looks like? If so, what do you think?
2. When Jesus was transfigured, Peter wanted to put up shelters for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, so they could all stay there. Can you blame him?
3. How can we stay close to Jesus throughout the day?
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