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Sunday next before Lent, Year C, 22.2.04
Exod 34.29-34: Moses with two tablets down from Sinai, transfigured
Ps 99: God spoke to Moses and Aaron out of the cloud
2 Cor 3.12-4.2: Moses' veil (glory fading), we: unveiled faces, see glory of Lord, & are being glorified
Luke 9.28-36 (Short): Transfiguration
Collect: grace to perceive his glory, strength to suffer with him, changed into his likeness.
Post Com: We see your glory in face of Jesus, may we reflect his life in word & deed that world may know his power to change & save.(996-96=900)
All three of our readings plus the Collect and Post Communion are about
change, transfiguration, glorification.
Not a bad thing to bring to mind as we approach the beginning of Lent
Christ we are called to a continuing process of change and, as
Thus it is not surprising that Saint Paul never says that we have been
saved, but always that we are being saved or we shall be saved, for it is an
ongoing process, a life-long process.
This past Wednesday, when I went to check the e-mail, I found, and ran
off for Dorothy, 38 pages of notes for the "Growing Gifts" sessions.
The subject material was concerned with various views of "Who can be
I sampled bits of it along the way, and my strong impression was that all
of the materials assumed that "salvation" consists of life after
That is certainly not central to my sense of being called in Christ.
My goal is to become more Christ-like here and now, being changed from
one degree of glory to another as I allow myself to be more imbued with the love
of God in Christ Jesus.
For the very word "salvation" is basically concerned with being
whole and healthy.
As I do this I shall therefore show forth, degree by degree, God's image,
his shalom, his peaceful, peaceable, and peace-making good order as made known
above all in the life and witness of Jesus of Nazareth.
Think about this: every time we gather for Christian worship we have a
confession of sins.
Because it is only as we stop to recognize those areas of our life that
are less than fully loving that we can grow in those areas.
Some of these areas may be large or small, obvious or subtlely hidden,
especially those that feel so much to be part of ourselves, that we say,
"That's just me", for they can fit like a glove and hence take a real
effort to become aware of them.
I am reminded of Dorothy's telling, as an Alexander Teacher, of the child
whose body was badly twisted.
When her teacher had straightened her out, the child said it didn't feel
As the author of the Letter to the Hebrews expresses it, some sins cling
closely to us.
You might almost say that they "feel right".
And besides, since, in Jesus' words, we are positively to do unto others as
we would be done to, therefore, it is imperative on us to do much more than
simply refrain from wrongdoing.
This growing into Christ is a life-long process, a pilgrimage, in effect.
There certainly are times when it feels like the same old grind, but we can
never simply rest on our laurels, so to speak.
As the old saying goes, "The one redeeming thing about the person
who claims to be a self-made man is that at least he doesn't blame God for
God still has more work to do on us, in us and through us.
And this Lent presents us with another opportunity to continue the
process and renew our commitment to it.
This morning we have had Luke's version of Jesus' transfiguration.
Luke has made a significant change from Mark's version, namely, he has
Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus about the Exodus that Jesus will accomplish
So when Moses and Elijah speak about Jesus' departure, that is, his
Exodus, that he will accomplish in
So this Lent let us resolve anew to die to ourselves, in St Luke's words,
to "take up our cross daily"
that we may be raised to newness of life.
In the words of today's Post Communion: As we see God's glory in face of
Jesus, may we reflect his life in word and deed that world may know his power to
change and save.