What does it mean to be a Christian? Some might say that it means following a particular way of life - of doing the right thing and trying to be a good person.
That might be partially true, but the reason we call ourselves Christians is that we are - or we are supposed to be - followers of Christ.
We are followers of a person, a man who lived in Israel two-thousand years ago. If you think about it, that's kind of crazy. Why should anyone care about what someone said so long ago - especially to care enough that they would base their whole life on that person.
Yet, that's what we claim to do. By saying, "I am a Christian," we're saying that the person of Jesus still matters, he has an impact on my life today.
If that's what being a Christian really is, then the most important thing we can is get to know this person and who he really is.
Our gospel today tells us the story of the Transfiguration - that means "to change forms." Jesus' appearance changes and he reveals himself as he truly is to three of his disciples. St. Luke writes that, "his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white."
That's our first hint at who Jesus is - He's much more than just a man.
Suddenly, at his side there appears two of the greatest figures from the Old Testament: Moses and Elijah. Moses is the great leader who led Israel out of slavery in Egypt and received the Law from God. Elijah is the greatest of the prophets.
Together, the Law and the Prophets, they represent all of God's relationship with Israel in the old covenant. And here they are speaking with Jesus about what Luke calls, "his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem."
The exodus is originally the story of God delivering Israel from slavery. Here we see that Jesus intends to deliver mankind from a deeper, more serious slavery - the slavery to sin.
It's at this point that Peter, James, and John, who had fallen asleep, wake up. It seems that Moses and Elijah are leaving, so Peter makes the suggestion that they build three tents. He wants to prolong the experience, but he doesn't quite understand what is being revealed to them.
This is made clear by the arrival of a cloud that surrounds them. And they hear a voice that says, "This is my chosen Son; listen to him."
Finally, we get to the heart of what the Transfiguration means.
Jesus isn't revealed in his glory just to impress these three apostles or as a proof of his power. His glory is revealed to show us just who he is. He is the Son of the Father.
Everything that God had revealed of himself in the Law and the Prophets is completed in Jesus. When the cloud disappears, Jesus is alone - because he is the last Word. Everything God has to say - everything God is - is here before them.
Think about our strange first reading - all the things that symbolized or prefigured the presence of God are fulfilled in Jesus.
This all happens as Jesus begins his last journey to Jerusalem.
We know where that journey ends because our keeping of the season of Lent is our preparation. And just like the apostles, we need a reminder of just who it is we follow.
We are Christians - followers of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God.
If we truly want to live that life, then we need to deepen our relationship with this Jesus. We need to cling to him. We need to make him the very center of everything we are and everything we do.
Being a Christian isn't just knowing about Jesus. It's knowing him.