Sunday, February 11, 2007

Transfiguration Sunday – A

Years A
Exodus 24:12-18
Psalm 2 or Psalm 99
2 Peter 1:16-21
Matthew 17:1-9


These passage can be played against what, in another year, would have been the Seventh Sunday after Epiphany:
Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
Psalm 119:33-40
1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23
Matthew 5:38-48


A focus on Moses' appearance in Exodus is brought back to the content of Moses' encounter (Leviticus) on the mountain - Here's how to be holy, rather than here's what holy looks like.

Psalms 2 and 99 are again outwardly focused on causing trembling, if not blindness, in others. Psalm 119 here brings the issue to one's internal decision to act on one's understanding, rather than on naming another's source of vain plotting.

Peter has a leg up on prophetic messages. His experience trumps any other experience. Paul builds on a firm foundation in his fashion and others are encouraged to build according to their gifts. Is the faith hierarchical or communal? What is the place of the one with a spiritual gift of questioning or a baby in the faith or one in the midst of transition in their faith - subservient or welcomed?

The conversation Jesus has with Moses and Elijah (Mt 17) might be overheard with Jesus' comments about, "You have said, but I say" (Mt 5). This moment of shift is transformative in a person's life as they move to a next stage - transfiguring, even. When the new perspective comes, it becomes difficult to return to the prior picture with equanimity. A culture shift has occurred and this is a time of danger for the new vision. Fortunately transformative moments are ultimately irradicable and are confirmed in later resurrections into a new community.

= = = = = = =

buildings can break new ground
built on a new vision
they rise in new shapes
reflecting a new day

buildings can trap new ground
repeating an old vision
ticky-tacky on a hillside
restraining a new day

irrepressible Peter
reflecting restraining
needing yet a clear voice
assuring belovedness

from fearful restraint
comes a word to get up
to move beyond reflection
to practical healing

practice loving enemies
here lies new community
resist eye gouging
there lies old feuds

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