Friday, February 09 2024
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them (Mark 9:2-3).
This week’s Gospel is the other bookend to the resurrection on Easter morning. Jesus is letting Peter, James and John know what is about to occur. He will soon tell them that he must suffer and die and after three days rise again. They will not understand the path that Jesus must follow. There was a common understanding amongst the Jewish folks that the messiah would raise a great army, conquer the Romans, and free their people. Jesus walks the path of self-giving love, not the path of power and dominance. On this last Sunday after Epiphany, we prepare ourselves for the upcoming Lenten season. Ralph Waldo Emerson once explained, “That which dominates our imaginations, and our thoughts will determine our life and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.” Lent begins on Ash Wednesday next week with a 12 noon and a 7:00 PM service. Our plan for Lent at St. John’s is to offer ways to pray and information on health and wellness.
In today’s Gospel Jesus was transfigured to a dazzling white. He has a conversation with Moses and Elijah in a Kingdom of God moment that can only be described as supernatural. Peter says, “Rabbi, it is good to be here.” Peter is very confused, a cloud comes over, and a voice comes from heaven, “This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him!” When God’s glory is revealed to us, it seems out of the realm of the ordinary and we often do not know what to make of it.
In Sunday’s collect we will pray, “O God who before the passion of your Son revealed his glory on the Holy Mount, that we may we be strengthened to bear his cross.” God sustains us with an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus wants us to walk none other than the way of the cross. The way of the cross often begins in Lent. Lent is the time when we ponder the work that God has called us to do. We realize that the distractions of the world have kept us from God’s purpose in our lives. If we want to be an authentic expression of Christ’s light, we need to pray, study, listen, and make God the center of our world again.
For this season of Lent, please consider listening to God. We come together to give thanks and pray that we might recognize God in our midst and follow this path of healing and wholeness. In my experience, God is working in the life of our congregation in ways that we cannot ask for or imagine. Some of you have experienced prophetic voices, incarnational events, and brushes with angels. Please share them with each other. They lead to the Kingdom of God. The point of this passage to me is that although we cannot see God, God is always nearby. When we love God with all our heart, mind and soul, we begin to see the edge of God’s robe. When we truly listen to the Word of God, we are slowly transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
In Christ’s love,