We are beginning to transition here at this old house. This is the last week of the season after Epiphany as Lent begins with Ash Wednesday next week. Tomorrow, many churches will celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. (Some do it on August 6th.) In my “Imaging the Word” devotion this morning, there was a wonderful quote by Walter Wink from his book “Interpretation”:
Transfiguration is living by vision: standing foursquare in the midst of a broken, tortured, oppressed, starving, dehumanizing reality, yet seeing the invisible, calling to it to come, behaving as if it is on the way, sustained by elements of it that have come already, within and among us. In those moments when people are healed, transformed, freed from addictions, obsession, destructiveness, self worship or when groups or communities or even, rarely, whole nations glimpse the light of the transcendent in their midst, there the New Creation has come upon us. The world for one brief moment is transfigured. The beyond shines in our midst–on the way to the cross.
One of the things that has been made clear to me recently is that Jesus didn’t suddenly shine with a new light. Rather, the disciples eyes were opened to the light that was always there in Jesus all the time. An interesting thought and one that makes me wonder: what am I not seeing that is intrinsically part of something or someone? The whole idea of being present, paying attention is implied here.
This is behind the litany that was also part of my “Imaging the Word” devotion. A “Celebration of Life,” taken from “Jesus-Christ–The Life of the Word: A Worship Book for the Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches,” we respond antiphonally to a way of looking beyond surface realities:
In the midst of hunger and war we celebrate the promise of plenty and peace.
In the midst of oppression and tyranny we celebrate the promise of service and freedom.
In the midst of doubt and despair we celebrate the promise of faith and hope.
In the midst of fear and betrayal we celebrate the promise of joy and loyalty.
In the midst of hatred and death we celebrate the promise of love and life.
In the midst of sin and decay we celebrate the promise of salvation and renewal.
In the midst of death on every side we celebrate the promise of the living Christ.
May we all find ways to live “transfigured” lives.