Have you ever watched those makeover programmes on television? Like Changing Rooms and House Doctor and the rest?
The best part seems to be at the end of the show when the redecoration and refurbishment is unveiled to the unsuspecting homeowner (that’s on “Changing Rooms” isn’t it?) Usually, there are shrieks of amazement and of joy at the transformation. Although I seem to recall one episode in which the look on house-owners’ faces was that of disbelief and horror at the atrocity perpetrated upon their home
But usually – even if the result would not be to the majority of viewers’ taste, the transformation is welcomed…and such words as “fantastic” “amazing” “wow!” and even “I’m speechless!” are common.
Then there’s “How Clean is Your House” – that’s the show where two woman – one of them a large and rather intimidating lady – tackle manky, clarty, and disgustingly grimy and filthy houses….and effect an almost magical transformation, by restoring them to pristine, immaculate, and spotless glory.
The reaction from those whose former hovels they have cleaned up is genuinely that of sheer joy. And some are so overcome, that they weep with happiness.
We all like changes for the better. We all welcome transformations that restore or embellish or enhance
It works in people’s personal lives too.
Transformations are big business today. Facelifts, liposuction, botox injections, and a host of cosmetic procedures which all seem to cost a lot of money but are deemed by those who undergo such treatment as well worth it. A new face, a new look, a changed appearance seems to bring joy and happiness to a lot of people
Such transformations are big business because we are very aware of the face we present to the world. And we will alter our face to our advantage if we can.
Sometimes the change is not just in looks but in our whole image — including our name.
Larushka Shikne did not like the image he thought his name projected, so he changed his name to Laurence Harvey. Issur Danielovitch Densky did the same thing and became Kirk Douglas.
In the same way, Frances Gum transfigured herself and her image into Judy Garland. Archibald Leach became Cary Grant.
And would you have paid money to see Marion Morrison in the movies? Maybe, but Marion didn’t take that chance, he became John Wayne.
Remember that in Holy Scriptures many people got new names to go with a new life and a new image. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Jacob became Israel. Saul became Paul. Simon became Peter, “The Rock.”
And – supremely – Jesus on the mountain. The church calls this event the Transfiguration of Christ. Jesus was “transfigured”: the figure, the image, the look that he had, the face that showed to others was changed over. The appearance of his face changed. Jesus had a different look.
It would be well for us to consider carefully this – admittedly strange – episode in his life.
So often we seem to regard Jesus simply as a good friend, or a clever teacher, or gifted preacher. There is a temptation to think of him as a good man….a very good man….and that’s as far as it goes.
But in the story of the Transfiguration we see Jesus in a new light: here he is transformed and transfigured and identified as the one true Son of God.
The voice on the mountaintop said, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen – listen to him!”
In this world in which so many whispers try to seduce us and so many voices vie for our attention and obedience, we would do well to listen to the one who is our mighty Redeemer, our Saviour and Lord, the Way, the Truth, and the Life………….
……..and if we did so more intently, we would find our own life changed, transformed for the better, cleansed, and renewed and refashioned………..
……..and we would most certainly, as a result of this amazing makeover, be filled with overwhelming joy and happiness.