Reflection on Transfiguration Sunday 2015

Today’s liturgy felt transformational. Celebrating Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist together, listening to the witness of our partners in mission from St. Luke’s, renewing baptismal vows – Wow!

Thank God for the verdant-green-vested priests and deacons whose palpable depth of conviction and strength of presence reminded me of grass and the vitality of earth, humus keeping me grounded, else I might drift away in a daydream carried by a cloud of light at the mountain-top with Jesus.

Sitting in choir, I wondered about resonances between Baptism and Eucharist, theophanies of the Baptism and the Transfiguration, Epiphany and light, green and white, Ordinary and Extra-ordinary …

This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:17, Baptism of Jesus

… you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise … your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life. BCP pp. 308, Holy Baptism

let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijiah. Mark 9:5

And on the way to church, I wondered about the Elijiah and Elisha story:

… the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijiah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” from 2 Kings 2:1-12

There’s a passing of the torch that reminds me of the transition from the Dean search to Penny accepting our call. There’s a receiving of this time and this world as gift, as our inheritance today – we are stewards. There’s a receiving of the tradition and the sacraments as our inheritance today – future church is here.

We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood. BCP, pp. 308, Holy Baptism

What made the liturgy powerful? Was it the quality of the silence before the Gospel proclamation? Katherine’s witness? the text of the anthems? I don’t have the answer, and that’s part of why coming together for liturgy is so wonderful.

For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

Maybe the veil of God’s mystery momentarily lifted in a variety of ways?

Because in the mystery of the Word made flesh, you have caused a new light to shine in our hearts, to give the knowledge of your glory in the face of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. BCP pp. 378, Preface for Epiphany

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