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Transfiguration



As is the tradition in the church’s year, the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent is Transfiguration Sunday. I don’t know about you but whenever I think of the Transfiguration telling my mind goes to Nappisan and cleaning product that will make our clothes whiter than white! The Transfiguration is a really difficult event to explain and so I tend to just sit in the mystery of it all. Today, I would like to focus on some of things that happened and were said around the Transfiguration. Our reading this morning also covers more than just the Transfiguration so I think we need to keep our focus broad. We are told at the beginning of the reading that the event takes place some eight days after ‘these sayings’. ‘These sayings’ are Jesus talking to his disciples about his death and resurrection, in which the disciples not too sure exactly what is being said and what it all means, but there’s nothing unusual in that. A journey to a mountain top, and the change in the appearance of Jesus, some amazing people join them and then the voice of God follows. Similar to Jesus’ baptism the voice declares Jesus to be the Son of God, God’s chosen but then the disciples who are present are instructed to “Listen to him!”. The next day and at the bottom of the mountain comes a boy who is possessed by a demon. This boy could not be healed by the disciples, but Jesus speaks and the child is made well. Following this the disciples are again told of Jesus’ death and betrayal, but Jesus begins with the words “Let these words sink into your ears”, again listen! Unfortunately, the disciples do not comprehend what Jesus was saying and it is only with the lens of hindsight or remembrance do they begin to understand. As we move into the season of Lent – a time of reflection, of preparation for Easter, a time of giving up or taking on – I believe we are being called to listen. Listen to the voice of Christ, listen to the voices of those in need around us just as Christ listened, and listen to what God is trying to tell us. Our phrase for this week, and our last phrase to reflect on as we move into this time of listening, is ‘what is God saying and what are we going to do about it?’ We can listen all we want, but the listening needs to have some action. As we begin our discernment process of where to next, where and how are we being called to be in mission, and our presence in the community around us, listening is important. Listening is indeed important but so is action that follows that listening. What are we going to do about what God is calling us to? That’s the question to take into our Lenten reflections for this time. Jay Robinson

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