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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Transfiguration Sunday C Luke 9:28-43 Psalm 99 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2 Exodus 34:29-35

I don't want to come down from the mountain. I saw Jesus in all his glory. I saw him as I have never seen him before. I saw him as I wish all the world would see him. He was shining, like the sun, like the moon, like the stars. My eyes were almost blinded. On each side of him were two others. They must be Elijah and Moses; like our tradition said. Elijah and Moses; God's greatest prophets  stand on each side of Jesus. Suddenly I cry out, Jesus, let us build tents for you and....but before I can finish speaking they are gone. It was as if lightning flashed in a split second. I blinked; wondering if I had been dreaming. But the look on James' and John's faces told me they had seen too. If there had been a dream we all had it. Then a cloud covered Jesus. I heard a voice saying, "This is m son, my chosen, listen to him!" And it was gone. Like the lightning flash. Again.

Oh how I wanted to stay. My heart raced. James, John, and I rushed to Jesus. He looked stunned. He didn't say anything so we built a fire and just sat with him most of the night. What had the prophets said to him? Whatever it was, it made him sullen, silent, and sad.

Why should the son of God be sad? God himself had thundered from heaven! That should make anyone excited and happy! But Jesus was still quiet.

Epiphany 4 C Jeremiah 1:4-10, Psalm 71:1-6, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Luke 4:21-30

Two thoughts rise to the top after my first reading of the four passages. Both provoked memories from my childhood.

1. Jeremiah's phrase, "Ah Lord God Truly I don't know how to speak for I am only a boy!" I remember reading this not long after I was called to preach at the age of 10. I was not a boy, of course, but I focused on the issue of youth. I never told God I couldn't speak because I was young, mostly because I had heard multiple stories of people running from God's call and how it turned out bad. I wanted to speak. I wanted to preach and I did not want to wait until I was grown up. I preached to the kids on the playground and I preached to the kids in my apartment complex. Once the kids in my apartments threw stones at me while I was screeching, "REPENT!" to them. That God me in trouble as my brother told on me and my mom made me stop. I couldn't understand why she would punish me for preaching!

2. The Love Chapter.
I memorized most of this chapter around the age of 12. I remember reading something in my study Bible that wondered why Paul had written this and not a poet like David. And that Paul wrote it right in the middle of an argument about spiritual gifts. But that is where it was needed. Love is the greatest gift. Most people do not understand what true love is. This chapter explains agape. Agape is the Greek word for STEADFAST love or LOYAL love or God's love.