Sometimes the Church is More the Tomb for Jesus' Dead Body than the Alive Body of Christ
The logic of the church year is something that I think escapes many Christians, and I can't help but believe that if the followers of Christ would better internalize the meaning and symbolism of the seasons of the church, their faith would deepen immensely.
Such a move would probably run the morning devotional business out of business, and perhaps the Christian landscape would be better for it.
Sometimes I wonder...
But we're nearing the end of the season between Epiphany and Lent, normally called "Time after Epiphany" or "Ordinary Time," and the scripture readings these past Sunday mornings have all been inviting us to ask the same question: "Who is Jesus?"
The Sunday that kicks off this "time between times" is the Sunday of Jesus baptism by John in the Jordan where it is revealed that Jesus is God's beloved messiah. And immediately after that revelation, Jesus runs into the wilderness, into the desert, wrestling with just what kind of Messiah he's going to be.
Will he be a domineering, oppressive Messiah who joins hands with evil? Or would he be God's Messiah who gives up his power for the sake of others?
And every Sunday after that baptism we get a story of Jesus calling people around him, a miracle story where everyone is astonished, an exorcism where the crowds scratch their heads and wonder who this new teacher is and what this new teaching (with authority) means, or a healing story where dying people are made well and restored to wholeness.
For six, seven, and sometimes eight weeks the church mulls this question over in their collective minds along with everyone else in the story: who is this Jesus guy, who can do all of these things?
And then, on the last Sunday of the season (this coming Sunday), we arrive at the Transfiguration, where we get a definitive answer to this question we've been asking over and over again.
And the whole scene happens on top of a mountain, that place where God has throughout scripture been revealed (think of Sinai and Moses), which is an indication to the reader/hearer that they should pay attention because something cool is going to happen.