Friday, February 17 2023
>>>CLICK HERE FOR FULL EMAIL VERSION
“Life on the surface keeps us judging the circumstances. We look at the circumstances as a picture. If it is pretty, pleasing, and shows us what we want to see then God is good and life is as it should be. When we don’t see what we want then we often look for a new picture. The restless searching, the longing for more, the desire for meaning are not, however, usually answered by changed circumstances. The answer is found in depth, intimacy, and the vulnerability of the interior journey. We do not need to see new things. We need to see the same old things with new eyes. We do not need to hear a different voice. We need to hear the same old voice with different ears. We do not need to escape the circumstances of our life. We need to be more fully present to those circumstances. When this happens life is no longer lived at the surface. These are the transfigured moments, moments when the picture of our life has becomes a window into a new world and we come face to face with the glory of God.” (Michael K. Marsh)
In the Gospel, Peter, John, and James go to the mountain to pray. Jesus' face changed in appearance and his clothes became dazzling white. Then they see Moses and Elijah, talking to him. It is obvious to me that Moses, Elijah, and Jesus and are outside the temporal realm. The bible calls this situation, “the Kingdom of Heaven” and this is the place in our time and space where heaven and earth overlap. Many people can only experience the temporal realm. When you are a believer, God is able to bring the light of Christ to a hurting world through you. When we give of ourselves for the sake of others, we feel the peace that passes all understanding. This is a foretaste of the eternal life that we will experience in the next life.
The abundant life is filled with experiences outside the temporal realm. This fleeting presence of “the Kingdom of Heaven” is a foretaste of what we will experience in eternity after our resurrection. In today’s lesson, Jesus crosses the temporal realm so that the disciples may have this foretaste, but the disciples are not in the right place to understand. Most people believe that they will go to heaven, but my experience is that non-believers don’t think that God can come into our time and space.
In the fifties and sixties, while I was growing up, practically everyone I knew believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. The church was filled and when we went out of church, we felt like servants of Jesus Christ on a mission. The times were tumultuous in the sixties, yet the Episcopal Church was a great place to be. We felt good that we were changing the world in a positive way to the problems of the environment, war, women’s rights and racism.
I imagine that most of us miss out on the deep joy and peace that we are offered by God because we are too distracted by our egos, our anger towards certain individuals, and other “stuff.” The trick in life for me is to let go of the “stuff,” give of ourselves to others, and to forgive others as we are forgiven by God. This deepens our relationship with God and our neighbor and allows us to experience the full benefit of God’s love and mercy. We are able to not only recover from bad things that happen to us, but somehow the glue that puts us back together makes us stronger than we have ever been. Once we see each other as broken vessels in need of the love and mercy of God, we love all our neighbors because we know that they are just as broken as us. We begin to walk the path that our Savior walked, who hung on a cross that he might know our pain and we might know the hope of the resurrection.
In Christ’s love,