And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white as no one on earth could bleach them.
With no God, no divine creation we’re all the product of blind impersonal forces. What meaning can love have in this kind of world? Love is reduced to a chemical state in the brain.
But with God, more specifically the triune God of Christianity, love finds it’s true meaning and purpose.
If God is a single being then until the creation there could have been no love. Who would be the object of God’s love? Love could not be the essence of God from eternity nor could it be at the heart of the universe.
The Christian God, in three persons is fundamentally a relational God, it is in his very nature to be loving: The Father loves the Son who is in the ‘bosom of the Father’ (John 1:18). Jesus says that the Spirit lives to glorify him (John 16:14). The Son glorifies the Father and the Father glorifies the Son for eternity (John 17:4-5).
To glorify is to honor with praise, admiration, or worship. Timothy Keller in his book ‘The Reason for God‘ describes this internal relationship of God with himself as a dance. If to be self centred is to be static and demand that others orbit around us with praise then…
The life of the trinity is characterised not by self centredness, but by mutually self giving love. When we delight and serve someone else we enter into a dynamic orbit around him or her, we centre on the interests and desires of the other. That creates a dance.
Timothy Keller (The Reason for God)
What the disciples witnessed in Jesus transfiguration was this mutual love that exists within God himself: God the Father glorifying God the Son:
And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved son, listen to him”.
When God calls on us to worship him it’s not a self centred demand but an invitation to join the dance. This then is the challenge in a self centred world, to emulate our creator and savior God in this dance of love which he has initiated because he first loved us. Don’t love God for what he can give you but for the sake of his glory and beauty make him the centre of your life. Don’t love others for what they can give you, but for the sake of God and his example.
I danced in the morning when the world was young
I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun
I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth
I danced for the scribes and the Pharisees
They wouldn’t dance, they wouldn’t follow me
I danced for the fishermen James and John
They came with me so the dance went on
I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame
They ripped, they stripped, they hung me high
Left me there on the cross to die
I danced on a Friday when the world turned black
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried my body, they thought I was gone
But I am the dance, and the dance goes on
They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the life that will never, never die
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me
I am the Lord of the dance, said he
Dance, dance, wherever you may be
I am the lord of the dance, said he
And I lead you all, wherever you may be
And I lead you all in the dance, said he
words by Sydney Carter