Monday, February 12, 2007

Transfiguration Sunday – B

Years B
2 Kings 2:1-12
Psalm 50:1-6
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Mark 9:2-9


A whirlwind - horses of fire, a chariot of fire - fire before and tempest around. These images call to let light shine out of darkness. They hearken back to the energy of creation - and let there be light (as though that were an easy, instantaneous event leaving no cosmological trace over time). There is judgment in these images, there is death and inheritance. We find here markers of transition from one generation to the next and a separation of the past from the future. All-in-all, blind violence is very much present.

Listen for another light, perhaps an energy saving compact fluorescent rather than a strobing spotlight, with the mystery of a floating cloud rather than a known tempestuous whirlwind. This comes with a message different than separation and doubling, different than judging and perishing. A message here is that of belovedness that can bridge the gap between what has been and what might yet be.

If we were to compare it with what might otherwise have been the pericopes of the seventh Sunday after Epiphany:
Isaiah 43:18-25
Psalm 41
2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Mark 2:1-12

we find a new thing springing forth. A whirlwind of fire becomes a whirlwind of mutual care as a roof is blown off that a paralytic, one already judged and found wanting, might find a healing of forgiveness and walk forth. A way will be found in the wilderness that is as refreshing as a river in a desert. There is an opening up, not a closing down to one transitional moment - every moment of opening leads us onward and reveals the Yes of life. We find a life to be a first or next installment of Life, not a final culmination. We don't need to build more houses to separate us, but an opening of the houses already present that belovedness might enter and go forth.

= = = = = = =

a double portion of spirit
so cries the religious capitalist
making a profit off the prophet
to build more and bigger
dwellings to be franchised

of course this is intended for good
the veiled, the perishing
will be left behind
those who work hard
and persevere will triumph

equally true is the way
this keeps us separated
one profiteer from another
claiming a quadruple spirit
or a hundredfold

eventually we return
no prophetic profit
only a gentle quiet
a light-dimming cloud
murmuring a beloved lullaby

3 comments:

  1. re: Isaiah 43:18-25, Psalm 41, 2 Corinthians 1:18-22, Mark 2:1-12
    ... We find a life to be a first or next installment of Life, not a final culmination. We don't need to build more houses to separate us, but an opening of the houses already present that belovedness might enter and go forth.


    perhaps
    we do need
    to build more houses
    for those
    who do not even have as much,
    that they may know
    appropriate separation
    (boundaries, shelter, privacy)

    and at the same time
    invite those
    whose houses have become prisons
    to turn from their barred prison window
    and walk through
    the door
    that has always been open
    (wisdom, compassion, love)

    what is this belovedness
    in the presence/context of which
    both the whirlwind
    and the quiet lullaby
    find home?

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Yep. I do appreciate your ability to see the more that yet needs to be said. I might have gotten to this in another year.

    I am reminded of an op-ed piece in today's NY Times that can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/12/opinion/12mon4.html?th&emc=th
    though you may need to a free signup to read it. Being a Yeats fan, I enjoyed it.

    The closing was "Yeats, who grew up feeling “sort of ecstasy at the contemplation of ruin,” did not just welcome whatever new order his rough beast was ushering in. He believed the only way it could plausibly be spoken of was in the form of a question."

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