Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Transfiguration

I do believe that last Sunday was the Feast of the Transfiguration, which I believe is Boy In the Band's favorite religious holy day. Happy Transfiguration, honey lamb.

This is one of the more obscure and most mysterious of holy days, commemorated in chapter 16 of Matthew. Or maybe Chapter 5 of Luke. The point is, I have no idea. As I understand it, Jesus is hanging out with the disciples when suddenly he says, "Hey, get a load of this!" And then a huge white fluffy cloud appears and covers everything and then it clears and Jesus is revealed to be standing in a stunning white bugle beaded robe, and Moses and Elijah are next to him, singing harmony to "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)".
The voice of God is heard to say something very important, but no one can hear it over the music.

When the vision clears, Jesus says to the disciples, "Now you know my true nature." And the disciples fall on their face and worship him.

That's how I heard it.


Blogger Roger Kuhrt, PhD said...

PB: This used to be a "trick" question when I was in Bible School. the question: Did Moses ever enter the promised land?

Answer YES--the transfiguration scriptures.

Cheerfully, RK

Blogger boyinthebands said...

Whar Roger mentions is one of the reasons I like Transfig.

But like many non-Episcopalians, I observe it on the last Sunday after Epiphany.

And Ascension ranks higher in my favorite second-tier holy days.

But happy (belated, or very belated) Transfiguration to you, too.

Blogger fausto said...

Krishna did the same thing with Arjuna. Cool pic here.

Blogger Clyde Grubbs said...

Thanks Scott,

I preached that text when I was in common lectionary parish and I swear it was snowing.

Blogger Caroline Divine said...

Heard a great sermon about this on Sunday. With a remark that many other sermons have included about how the disciples want to stick around (the thing about building booths) and make this a permanent arrangement, but then expanded into how so many of us (people, churches etc) have turned this feast into one of adoration, focusing on the "this is my beloved son" part of what God says, but have neglected the second, equally important part of the divine quote, "listen to him." With a riff on what "listening to Jesus" means, i.e. blessed are the peacemakers and so on. Very nice twist on the story, and made me think about that second part of the quote. (Which also makes sense if you look at the text as one of those passages set up to echo a passage in the Hebrew Bible, the one about the giving of the Torah where Moses comes back to the folks with his face all shining. The point being that okay, his face was shining, but it's because he was in conversation with the Holy One and the big deal was the Torah, not Moses.)

Also the preacher made the connection we can't escape since Hiroshima -- same day, August 6, as the Feast of the Transfiguration. The feast of the Transfiguration in the West (it was already a big deal in the Christian East) apparently got set up because of a military victory, so (said the preacher) it doesn't have a pretty history.

Hence the need to pay attend to the "listen to me" part of what God is saying.

And he did this without a single note (the preacher I mean, not God, who isn't a he and doesn't need notes) -- whew.

Blogger Caroline Divine said...

P.S. We observe it twice a year in the Episcopal Church, on the last Sunday before Epiphany and on the same feast day that Catholics also observe, August 6. (Catholics have the Transfiguration reading also during one of the Sundays in Lent in the three-year cycle. I preached on that one once and tried to figure out why that reading was in Lent. It actually worked -- or it made sense at the time.)


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