I have always been fascinated by the story of the transfiguration. This is the last Sunday of the time after the Epiphany and the start of Lent. In the Gospel, Jesus takes three of his friends high up on a mountain and is “transfigured” in front of them. We really do not know exactly what happens here except that his face “shone like the sun” and his cloths became “dazzling white.”
What we do know is that it was something fantastic that happened before the three friends and that Jesus changed. He also happened to have a conversation with Moses and Elijah. This had to be rather confusing for the disciples that were with him, but none the less, they tried their best to respond to the action that was happening in front of them.
I am curious, what would a transfigured church look like? There are plenty of hills here in Ithaca for us to wander up and to get closer to the skies, but I am pretty sure we will not have some sort of transfiguration happen to us that way. Once Jesus was transfigured and his disciples heard God instruct them to listen to Jesus, they came down the mountain. That is the end of such things in our scripture – leaving us to wonder what transfiguration could look like for us in our church today. Could it be a congregation that welcomes the youngest with a space dedicated to them in our sanctuary? Could it be a Campus Ministry program that stands in sharp contrast to those that would have students believe that the love of God comes with contingencies? Could it be a congregation that is ready to take a bold step into the uncertain future knowing that God is there beside them as they make themselves to receive the mission ahead of them?
I am unsure of what a transfigured congregation looks like. I am certain that all congregations have this opportunity, us included! Together let us dwell on that mountaintop with Christ, if even for a moment. Take in the brilliance of God and ready ourselves for the coming of the Lenten season when we will be able to ground ourselves on the sure foundation of Christ Jesus and reflect on our present as we prepare for the dawn of the resurrection sun.
Grace and peace,