05 Aug August 6th – The Transfiguration of Jesus
Hi... Jesus took Peter, James and his brother John and led them op on a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured before their very eyes. His face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes bright as light…the disciples fell forward on the ground, overcome with fear…Jesus came toward them and laying his hands on them, said – ‘Get up. Don’t be afraid.’
(from MATTHEW 17: 1-9)
There comes the strangest moment in your life,
when everything you thought before breaks free—
what you relied upon, as ground-rule and as rite
looks upside down from how it used to be…
How many people thought you’d never change?
But here you have. It’s beautiful. It’s strange.
(from “There Comes the Strangest Moment” by Kate Light in OPEN SLOWLY)
“How many people thought you’d never change,” writes poet Kate Light. Perhaps you and I were most surprised and the most convinced that positive change could never come in our lives, when it did come. Understandable, since change often startles us, and always has a cost.
Jesus’ “transfiguration” is a rich image; not so much in that most changes arrive with such dramatic accessories (usually not the case), but that change is possible at all.
Just like when you and I make changes (or when change “happens” to us), Jesus’ “change” sparks fear in his companions; most likely fear within himself as well. Questions arise: Who is this person? What is going on? Why can’t things just be as they were?
Sometimes, we are as fearful and confused as others for we can’t quite grasp what this change means for us. We, too, may wish things could remain the same.
One aspect of the Transfiguration story that stands out for me this year is the fact that Jesus, James, and John eventually go “back down the mountain,” as we all do after a life-changing event. It’s hard, scary, uncomfortable, but we go back none-the-less; back to our ordinary lives.
This week we will pray for all those who face change of any kind; that they may have the compassion and understanding to accept their own emerging just as it is – and the courage to be who they are (which is “different”) without apology.
All are welcome at Eucharist at 11 AM in The Upper Room this coming Sunday, August 6th.
Rev. James M. Calderone, OFM, MSSW, EdD