Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Transfiguration and these Dark times
Later this month I will be performing the wedding for a couple. I have known the bride all of her life and she is marrying a wonderful, loving man. It is a privilege to preside at the ceremony, and yet, I always wonder if folks really understand what they are getting themselves into. Most people want to skip over the bad and scary bits and always tell me they never fight. These two, on the other hand, might be young but have been through some really hard things in their young lives. They have no problem with honesty or the scary bits.
Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration. Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a mountain with him. Before their eyes he is transfigured and they witness Moses and Elijah with their eyes and hear the voice of God with their ears. They saw God's possibility, God's reality in Jesus just after he told them he had to die. They go down the mountain and head off for Jerusalem. And they are terrified, and don't understand most of it. They are silent about it until much later. They were present for the thrilling part but also extremely present for the worst moments of their lives and in our history.
Relationships of love, whether bound by ritual or not demand from us our willingness to go down into the dark places, to sit with another in the worst of times as well as in the best. I believe that the three disciples went to the mountain with Jesus, not because they were the best disciples, but so that these three would have a transforming and beautiful vision that would carry them through the worst. They were ready to bolt when things got tough. We are all ready to bolt when things get tough. But in the midst of our toughest times, our most painful struggles - the poverty, sickness, and death parts -God provides us with a transforming vision of love. A glimpse of the situation or person transformed. We get a glimpse of how God see them, us and our situation, through the eyes of love. My prayer for today is that for every dark place we have, God will provide us with a brief glimpse of mountaintop glory. That we might see, just for a moment, as God see us. That we might have the strength to stay and not run, but abide in the darkest moments knowing that God is already bringing about a new situation, a relationship, a transfigured possibility for us all.