Small Town Christmas

Small Town Christmas

Monday, February 11, 2013

Transfigured

The Grand Tetons
trans·fig·u·ra·tion
1. a. A marked change in form or appearance; a metamorphosis.
b. A change that glorifies or exalts.

As I walk on our country roads, I don't see Jesus appear in dazzling bright light. But it doesn't mean I can't find Him.

We celebrated Transfiguration Sunday yesterday at Stafford United Methodist Church. Pastor Amy read for us the Bible story as, on a high mountain north of Galilee, Jesus experienced a metamorphosis before the startled eyes of three disciples, Peter, James and John (Luke 9: 28-36). This was a spectacular change of His visible form. We call this experience His transfiguration, but, literally, in the original language, it is "metamorphosis."

Maybe sometimes I need to be awakened in lightning-bolt fashion. However, I do find Christ in His glorious creation, if I just open my eyes.

A keyhole frame formed by an old tree looks much different in February ...
... than it did in October. 
The vibrant colors of fall are replaced now by the stark outline of bare branches that decorate a bright blue winter sky.
When Jesus was transfigured into shining glory and he was joined by Moses and Elijah, it again unveiled what had been the truth all along: Jesus was the Son of God.
Peter was so moved that he wanted to build shrines on the mountain for Jesus, Elijah and Moses and just stay there to worship. Jesus pointed out that it wasn't the plan. The dazzling light and the glory were temporary. Jesus quickly changed back to His earthly appearance. He began a lonely journey to the cross for His disciples. And the journey was also for you and for me.
Life isn't always a Disney movie in technicolor beauty.
The Grand Tetons
While we celebrate the mountaintop experiences, that's not typically where the work happens.
The work happens in the valleys, in the trenches. We have to climb down from the mountain and get to work. As Pastor Amy said:
"Just because understanding Jesus’ identity and believing in him is enough for our own personal salvation, we can’t be content to stay there. We must be willing to follow Christ’s footsteps down the mountain and help him accomplish his mission."
Pastor Amy Slater, Stafford UMC
Later this week, on Ash Wednesday, the Lenten season begins. All around us, we see things that change.
 
Caterpillars transform to butterflies.
Seeds become flowers. These trees will soon begin budding green, and the keyhole frame along my walk will again be transformed and change the scenery again.
As we learn more about Jesus, a change happens in us, too. Maybe butterflies aren't the only creatures who can transform.
We enter Lent not with a sense of heaviness and dread about "what we may give up" or the challenges we may be asked to face. ... Instead, we enter this solemn (Lenten) season graced to expect the Father, Son and Holy Spirit may "blow our minds" and ignite our hearts as we seek to follow the One who leads through death to eternal life.
From the United Methodist Church's General Board of Discipleship
***
I'm linked today to Michelle DeRusha's, Hear It on Sunday, Use It On Monday. (She writes about the transfiguration today, too!) Click on the link to see what other bloggers of faith are saying today.

No comments:

Post a Comment