Monday, February 04, 2013

Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)

Epiphany - Last/Transfiguration - Year C

Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)

Those who want to save their life will lose it.
Those who want to save the church will lose it.

These parallel paradigms inform one another regarding the universal found in every particular and the unique in the midst of larger pictures.

When we lose one of these perspectives, we lose both.

In both cases we are caught by any number of temptations to attempt to control an uncontrollable urge of creation or to demystify the mystery of life and relationship. The result of narrowing self or church down to what we can understand or construct to force understanding is stasis or death.

This is the context from 8 days ago. Play with 7 "days" and take away 8. We are back in chaos. Any usual definition of saving will lead us back to a darkness over the deep.

What then will move us on to participating in the ride of our lives, both individual and corporate? Transfiguration. New life. Remembering, "You are beloved" or "We are beloved", leads us back down whatever mountain of remove we have clambered up to get an over-view. To "lose" our temptation to save the unsavable we return from our isolating perch to the rough and tumble of relationship. There are only additional encounters with the brokenness of life to engage in. Parents are disconnected from children, generation from generation, and self from self. In the midst of the discontinuities of life we invite brokenness of every stripe into our experience of belovedness.

All our usual tricks of superstition to shape an outcome - rally hats, deep thoughts, self-abnegation, political power - fall short. It will take a return to the expectation of the unexpected. In this case Jesus calls it "prayer", but we are talking about a water to wine experience, magi to a baby, dignity to the forefront.

The humility of silence is antidote to an aggrandized sense of saving self and meaning. This opens us to extend the reading to "greatness" being that of welcoming potential, welcoming a child, welcoming a return to an 8th day as prelude to another 7 days and 70x70 days.

Transfiguration sees its own loss [vss. 43b-45] and goes ahead anyway. This is its validation, its shift from caution (saving from) to courage (investing in).

Friends, it is time to remember our belovedness in the gift of silence and to return to the noise of life and its potential. Onward.

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