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Thanksgiving and Transfiguration

No, I am not holiday skipping. Today as I write this is the Feast of the Transfiguration. We typically celebrate it on a Sunday when the reading shows up in the lectionary, but it is actually August 6. It is celebrated among all Orthodox and Catholic traditions.

Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain to pray and while praying was transfigured before them, his clothes shining white, and Moses and Elijah with him. A cloud overshadowed them, and a voice called out from the cloud, “This is my Son, my beloved, listen to him.” (Mt 17:1-8; Mk 9:2-8; Lk 9:28-36)

There are a lot of sermons in that revelation of Christ’s glory. But right now, I want you to notice that Jesus took them off into the wilderness to pray. It was in prayer that God’s presence, power, and purpose were revealed.

This is a time to pray. The weather is reminding us of hell, and we are still at home being wise. But being wise is not merely sitting alone and bemoaning what is not happening. God is present! God is still powerful! God is still at work! And God has work for you to do.

First, listen to Jesus. Read the Bible with us, or at least read the Gospels. Memorize some of Jesus’ teachings. Go back to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, 6, and 7 as a good reset for your life as the season changes again.

Second, love somebody. Find someone in your life or in your way that needs you to reach out to them in love. Jesus tells the disciples on the way down from the mountain top that he is going to go to Jerusalem, confront the sins of the world, suffer, and die. He was going to give himself up to destroy sin and death.

Our call is to live that out in our small ways as the body of Christ in the not-yet-realized world that is between resurrections. We are here to love people into the kingdom of the self-giving King. We do that by giving of our selves.

I am proud of the ways we are doing that here, but I suspect that we are all called to do a little more right now. Give boldly in the name of Christ.