This Sunday, February 19, is Transfiguration Sunday on the church calendar. This is the Sunday we focus our study and worship on the transfiguration of Jesus.
The Lectionary text comes from Mark 9:2-9...
"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. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, 'Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.' He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, 'This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!' Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead."
According to the World English Dictionary - "transfigure" means to "change appearance of somebody: to transform the appearance of somebody or something, revealing great beauty, spirituality, or magnificence."
God has a habit of transfiguring...
At times this transfiguration is obvious and fantastic like the Transfiguration of Christ in the passage above. More often, the transfiguration happens slowly and is difficult to witness while it is taking place. But the transfiguration is happening all the same.
To the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul wrote these words,
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
God has a habit of transfiguring.
You and I are being transfigured more and more into the likeness of the Christ day by day.
Celebrate your transfiguration as God works in and through you revealing great beauty, spirituality, and magnificence.
Persistence "firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition." Persistence is her name. She stands when it would be more convenient to sit. She sits when others wish she would move. She moves when action is demanded. She speaks because her voice shall not be silenced nor stolen yet again. Persistence is her name. She has birthed nations. She has ended wars. She has toppled empires. She has nursed change. Persistence is her name. Mercy is found in the milk of her breast. Empathy is seen in the tears on her cheek. Justice is felt in the sweat of her brow. Righteousness is coursing in the blood in her veins. Persistence is her name. Difficulty will not stop her. Obstacles will not stand. Opposition will not cause delay. Trouble will not linger. Persistence is her name. Nevertheless, she persisted; for Persistence IS her name. — bshivers
In a staff meeting last week one of my colleagues said, "It's not always easy to practice." He was talking about our amazing Sanctuary Choir's commitment to practicing their craft even when they do not much feel like doing so. Their practice shows in the manner in which they offer their gifts and talents each week as a part of the worship life of the congregation. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live into this kind of commitment. Even though my colleague's words were geared toward those who are practicing crescendos and dissonant chords, they are also meaningful for faith practices. It is indeed not always easy to practice the faith. This is especially true when you do not feel much like doing so. Getting up and going to worship is a difficult thing when you are in college. Early classes throughout the week and late nights on the weekends make it incredibly tough. And you lose even more of your motivation when you do go and feel as though you
Land acknowledgement: I live on the ancestral lands of the Kickapoo and the Miami. They were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands. This Thanksgiving, I have found myself thinking about what it means for thanksgiving to be an active exercise instead of something akin to a passive counting of blessings. What if my thanksgiving were not just a self serving activity? What if my giving thanks actually led me to something more than keeping a tally of the ways in which I have been #blessed throughout the year? What if it was more than a naming of the results of my privilege and advantage? What if it was more than a list of the same old things that I know I should be thankful for but often take for granted because I can? What would happen if my thanksgiving actually spurred me to action? What would that look like? Perhaps an active thanksgiving would result in a process of discovery of who/what is on my list, of who/what isn't on my list, of who/what is ignored, of who/what I hav