Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’ — not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!’ When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. 
— Luke 9:28-36

We all have high points in our spiritual lives. These are the places that we wish to stay. However, we have to climb down the mountain. I find it most striking that three days after we relish the glory of Jesus transfigured on the mountain we are imposed with ashes and given the reminder that we will die. From one of the higher peaks of the Church year, we descend into the second lowest of its valleys.

The transition from Transfiguration Sunday to Ash Wednesday is a stark reminder that often our spiritual lives have times of joy right next to times of grief.

To help us get through the times of hardship, it is important to notice how the times of joy have changed and impacted us. How has Jesus changed our lives when we experience joy? How does he shape us for the road ahead?

May God continue to be with you,
Yours in Christ, Pastor Paul+