by Peter Hiller

Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for the Transfiguration Gospel.

Text: Mark 9:2-9 for the Transfiguration of Our Lord, Lectionary Series B


Participants will:

  1. Realize that God’s glory comes to them during mountain top experiences as well as times in the valley.
  2. Discover how to find God in the valley.


Spaghetti (uncooked)
Gum drops


  1. Divide into groups of 4-6 people. The leader will be the person whose birthday is closest to today.
  2. The leader is responsible for keeping everyone involved and keeping the discussion moving.
  3. Group guidelines (display for all to see)
    1. Share the time equally among all members
    2. All opinions are valuable
    3. Individuals have the right to pass


  1. Tower Building
    In the small groups, distribute a fair amount of gum drops, spaghetti and toothpicks. Instruct the groups that each group goal is to design and build the tallest tower using only the spaghetti, toothpicks and gum drops. Teams are allowed five minutes to complete their structures. At the end of the time determine which is the tallest structure.
  2. Ask the large group:
    1. How did it feel to have the tallest structure? (Great, exhilarating, victorious, proud)
    2. When have you experienced that in your real life?
    3. How did it feel to have a shorter tower, or how did if feel if your tower collapsed? (frustrating, sad, angry)
    4. When have you experienced that in your real life?

Make a graph that shows how your spirituality has changed during your lifetime from your Baptism until today. Make note of certain times in your life when you have had mountain top experiences with God, such as national gatherings or confirmation. Make note of times of spiritual valleys such as a death of a friend or family mountain or a time when you felt alone.

Spiritual High
Baptism                                                                                                            today
Spiritual Low

  1. Share in the small groups your spiritual mountains…
  2. Share in the small groups your spiritual valleys…


Have a volunteer read Mark 9:2-4.

  1. What emotions do you think you would have experienced if you were with Peter, James and John on that mountain? (scared, excited, awestruck)

Have a volunteer read Mark 9:5-6.

  1. Why do you supposed Peter wanted to build shelters for Elijah, Moses and Jesus? (He didn’t want the experience to end. He didn’t know what else to say. He had the gift of hospitality.)

Have a volunteer read Mark 9:7-9.

  1. How do you think Peter, James and John felt coming down from the mountain top? (sad, relieved, excited)
  2. How can we continue to experience God’s glory in the valleys? (read Ephesians 6:18, Psalm 119:105 and Acts 2:42)


Close by ending in a circle prayer. Have each student say, “Lord, help me on the mountains and valleys to always…(pray, read Your Word, etc.)


Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies 19, 1996.

Updated for youthESource in February 2015