Sunday, March 6, 2011


Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white...

As I listened to this passage being read today at St. John's, I had a flash of another one of those "A-ha's" Earlier, we had heard about Moses going up the mountain, into the cloud, where he would spend forty days and forty nights in an ongoing lecture from God. At some point, in the return to his people, Moses' face will shine so brightly that the Israelites are afraid, and he has to wear a veil.

This would seem to be that same incredible light that is transforming and transfiguring Jesus. God has come in such close contact with him... joining him with Moses (the Law) and Elijah (the Prophets) on either side... that he is burning as bright as the sun. If Jesus, the man, hadn't realized who he was before, there can be no doubt of who he is in this moment. And from here, Jesus launches into his ultimate purpose to bring a new way of being to an oppressed, hurting, and struggling world.

This, I believe, is still happening amongst us today in the 21st century.

It may not happen in the same way as with Jesus. We aren't likely to take our closest associates with us to a mountain top to be greeted by a thunderous, booming voice announcing that "We are God's beloved with whom God is well pleased. Listen to us!" Still, I think God has the power and the ability, and definitely the will, to transfigure those of us who are willing to give our selves over to this Love.

Note: I separated "ourselves" into "our selves". This is an important distinction. Because I believe the only way to allow for the transfiguration to happen is to give up the self, the ego, to something larger. Ego... the "me, me, me" and the thinking that we have some kind of control, is one of the biggest barriers we have to God. The focus on "me" and the amount of time spent thinking about "me" blocks the way to God. And the ego seems to love to "think" about all kinds of things. In the thinking, it also gets to feel as if it's in control. But, in my own experience, the more I get caught up in my thoughts, the more I try to control and force things to bend to my will, the more likely I am to move away from Love. And the further I move from Love, the more anxious I get. Depression and despondency soon follow suit. And my light grows dim.

When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Get up and do not be afraid."

The brighter we become, the more others will look at us oddly, and perhaps even be a little afraid in the same way that the Israelites needed Moses to veil his face because he was just too bright and shiny for them. But becoming brighter is what I believe God is intending for all of us, and especially those who are truly seeking God and a deeper knowledge of God. We're to let our light shine and illuminate those places where it's dark. And we are to lead, even if it means taking our own cautious steps toward a showdown in our own version of Jerusalem. That's coming this week as the Florida legislature gathers and our Governor turns the screws on state agencies and employees. Those of us who have worked in "the system", and are no longer bound by it, understand the rampant fear and desire to lay low and hope to survive. This is why I am willing to take a stand for those too afraid at this moment to do so, while encouraging those who are fearful, but willing, to stand with me and others. The light of Love will transform us and make us brighter than those who would rather see us stay in darkness.

Shine on! Shine on! Shine on!


Anonymous said...

As we heard on Sunday, this is our WOW moment. So, when I was about to received the body of Christ, I said ,WOW!. Don't ask me why, but it was appropriate.


SCG said...

Very appropriate, Peggins!