Jesus’ Transfiguration, and Ours
Jesus climbed a mountain with a few of his disciples, perhaps uncertain about what course his ministry should take. Would preaching kindness, healing people, and gathering a small community be enough? Or did God demand more of him: a hard road of challenge to the status quo, standing up to the powers that be, announcing God’s Kingdom of love and mercy on earth?
The event we commemorate today – Jesus’ Transfiguration – changed Jesus. It set Jesus on a new, more dangerous course. He encountered his Hebrew forebears, Moses and Elijah, and realized that his mission was like theirs: to lead humanity out of bondage into freedom.
Faithful, stumbling disciple Peter is there to witness it, but his vision is not big enough. Peter offers to build a shrine – “three booths” – to contain all this wonderful holiness! But God thunders from heaven, dismissing this idea, and confirming Jesus’ mission to save the whole world through his self-giving.
At St. Dunstan’s today, we gather to consider our life as a church, a community of Christ. We elect leaders and conduct our formal business. But that’s not enough. God calls us out of our own shrine here on Mass. Avenue, to carry the Word of God into the world surrounding us. We have no other purpose than to transfigure lives for Christ. And surely, our own lives must be transformed before we can take that Good News to others.
St. Dunstan’s is a wonderful church and I love it. But we need new passion for the transforming work of Christ. Maintaining our “shrine” is not enough. Awful as it was, Jesus’ Cross has infinitely more power than any shrine ever could. Why? Because Jesus poured out his life, his love, for us on that cross. And he calls us to do the same. Are you ready? JBM