Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Meeting Place (A Transfiguration Sermon)

Did you see the trees yesterday? My social media feeds were filled, for a time, with photos and glad remarks from friends who stopped what they were doing and took note. The afternoon sun passing through ice-encased twigs was perhaps the best after-effect of Friday night’s weather. Driving along a country road on Saturday was like driving through a jewelbox, all glittering crystal. I thought it looked like a hymn. My daughter and I debated how you might paint such a marvel. These curves and branches - the shapes had seemed so dull and ordinary, late-February drab fading into the background just a few days before. Yesterday? Glorious.

This is transfiguration: that which surrounds us everyday, elevated, made more beautiful. For a while, holy imagination reigns and we can see the glory.

And then we round the curve into town, and pull into the garage, and somehow it’s all still there waiting for us. There is still homework to be done, a sermon to be finished, dinner to be sorted out, and the cats have an opinion about the state of their litterbox.

There are the times when your holy imagination is filled with sunsets and mountains, crystalline trees and freshly-washed baby, hope and newness and the glory of God. The stuff of life, transfigured. Flesh, milk, water, bark, sunshine, photosynthesis, DNA, …which coexist with diapers, spitup, sweat, dirty litterboxes and the desperate need for sleep.

Jesus took his closest followers up the mountain to pray, and Luke tells us they were so gosh darn tired they were ready to drop. There are the times when human limitations tell holy imagination to stuff it. Aching muscles, tired of paying attention, do we have to do this now?

Yes, now. Even though we are tired, and smelly and messy, just ordinary human beings. He wants to do this now. Right now is the time for glory to meet our footsore, fumbling attempts to follow.