My wife designed the garden outside the window of my home office to attract monarch butterflies. I recently watched as another emergent monarch stretched open its wings and flew for the first time. Witnessing that never gets old. As many times as I’ve seen a butterfly metamorphose into more of what it was intended to be, I still get a charge out of watching it happen.

My youngest daughter, who lives in Texas, gave birth to her daughter this past December. This is our first grandchild. With technology being what it is, of course, we get regular visual updates about how that little one is progressing. That never gets old either.

Becoming what we are meant to be is a fundamental part of life- most especially human life.

There is a great deal of attention being paid to the idea that we can transform ourselves, including our gender, into pretty much anything we want, and that this ‘transformation’ must be accepted and supported by everyone else. This is nonsense and immensely destructive. Our lives as Christians are aimed at being constructive, to have specific purpose.

We are taught that God creates through wisdom, that creation is rightly ordered, that creation shares God’s goodness because it comes from God’s goodness and that life is aimed toward unification with Him. We are also taught that God is trustworthy.

God told Abraham that if he was obedient to what God had in mind for him to do, God would bless him and all of humanity through him. That’s purpose. With that, Abraham listened to God, ‘went as the Lord directed’ and became what God had for him to become. God is trustworthy.

Saint Paul reminds us that God called all of us to live a holy life, not according to the way we think is best but rather according to His design for us. This isn’t always easy but, before time began, God gave you and me the grace to be successful in this way. God is trustworthy.

The word that is used to describe what happened to Jesus on that mountain 2000 years ago is metemorphothe. It is used only twice in the whole Bible, both times to describe what happened to Jesus. We get the word metamorphosis from it. In English we say that Jesus was transfigured.

To be transformed indicates a major change in form, nature or function. We can change our appearance. We can’t transform our essence, that is, who each of us is created to be. Transfiguration is a change that exalts or glorifies. It reveals something divine. It showed the essence of Jesus. On that mountain Peter, James and John witness a bit of the divinity of Jesus. It terrified them. God gives the trio one command: He tells them to listen to Jesus.

They apparently got the message because none of them moved or made a sound until Jesus touched them and said, ‘Rise and do not be afraid’.

When the world seems to have gone bottom up, when we are facing challenges too big for us we can ask Jesus to show us His essence, recall our essence and ‘rise and be not afraid’. God is trustworthy.

Deacon Greg Osgood