Illuminating Lent: The Transfiguration • Contemplating

The Transfiguration, Donald Jackson in collaboration with Aidan Hart, 2002. The Saint John's Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Transfiguration, Donald Jackson in collaboration with Aidan Hart, 2002. The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

WEEK TWO•DAY SIX

Contemplating

I love my children. I express that love in many ways. I want what is best for them. I want them not to be satisfied with the way things are, but to always be looking for ways to change the world for the better. Change, after all, is an essential and natural part of life. The old saying is true: When we stop changing, we die.

God loves us. We are described in Scripture as “children of God”. In the beginning, God created us to live in perfect harmony with the world and in full communion with him. God wants what is best for us. Part of that divine desire is for us to actively seek ways to change the world around us and to allow God to change us.

This illumination of the Transfiguration and the scripture that inspires it contain a deep message of change. Moses and Elijah are changed in relation to the Messiah. Jesus is changed in the sight of the disciples. Peter, James, and John are changed in their understanding of their Lord and, therefore, their understanding of themselves.

Part of human nature is to dislike change. The three Apostles attempt to forestall transformation by enshrining the Transfiguration, much like we in the church can avert change through an unhealthy attachment to the institution, rather than to Christ.

We know that God is love. God’s love, in Christ, is dramatically projected in this vision of Transfiguration and is the catalyst by which we are changed. May we so embrace God’s love that we accept the transformation of our lives that God wills.

 


The Reverend Mark Goodman, a native of Oklahoma, is Dean of St. John’s Cathedral in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has served congregations in Ohio, South Carolina, and New Mexico. Before ordination, Mark received degrees in botany, and still maintains an interest in that science. He is a Fellow of Sinai and Synapses, an organization whose work is the deepening of the conversation between science and faith. He is married, with two children, and he enjoys cooking, reading, travelling with his family, and taking long walks with his dog, Jeeves.


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