This week’s readings are about the visible glory of God: those moments in which the reality of God’s presence intersects the reality of our material world. During the exodus, God abided by fire and cloud with Israel. Once the temple replaced the tabernacle, the temple was the place where heaven and earth met; where the glory of God could be seen; where God abided with his people. But then the glory departed; the temple was destroyed the people were exiled; and though they returned from Babylon, the glory did not. For a thousand years, Israel was waiting for the return of that glory and presence. And then Emmanuel was born and lived in their midst. The Transfiguration of Jesus, as He is travelling to the cross, is among other things, a confirmation that it now is in the person of Jesus, not in the temple where heaven and earth meet; where God abides with his people; where the glory of God is visible.
And in our Epistle, Paul speaks of that same light of glory:
“For it is the God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness'; who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6