February 28, 2019
This Sunday is the last Sunday of the season of Epiphany. On Wednesday March 6th, Ash Wednesday, we start the 40+ day season of Lent.
So this Sunday is a transition Sunday -- a Sunday to transition from one season to another.
As one way of making that transition, the Gospel assigned for Sunday is the Transfiguration story -- the story of Jesus taking three of his closest disciples - Peter, John and James, up to the top of a mountain to pray.
It's literally a high "mountaintop experience." While they're up there, amazing things happen: the appearance of Jesus' face changes. His clothes become dazzling white. A cloud descends. They have a vision of Moses and Elijah. They hear the voice of God.
Glory! A powerful vision, a moving spiritual experience!
But the very next day, coming down the mountain, a crowd meets them. Someone shouts, "Teacher, please, take a look at my son. Often a spirit seizes him. Suddenly he's screaming, thrown into convulsions, his mouth foaming. I asked your disciples to deliver him but they couldn't."
What a contrast!
One day, the disciples go from having a "high mountaintop experience" in the intimate company of Jesus and the mystical company of the greatest representatives of the Law and the Prophets.
The very next day, they run into a huge noisy crowd, from which a suffering child and his desperate, helpless father emerge. The father begs Jesus directly for help because he'd found that Jesus' disciples were incompetent to help him.
A high "high."
A low "low."
Sound familiar? A little bit like our life sometimes?
As I hope to explore a bit more on Sunday, it's easy to find God in the mountaintop experiences, but it's important to remember that Jesus is present in the crowded, noisy, and even accusatory "valley" every bit as much as on the mountaintop.
See you Sunday,