-- From Sunday’s sermon referring to August 6 -- The Feast of the Transfiguration:
- Today in 1965 the Voting Rights Act was signed into law
- Today in 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima
- Today in 1911 Lucille Ball was born.
- Two thousand years ago today, Jesus was transfigured.
Jesus took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses, and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” —not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and, in those days, told no one any of the things they had seen.
This pericope is read twice a year -- Annually on the last Sunday of Epiphany, and every year on August 6. When I read the story of the transfiguration this week, the one thing that really jumped out at me were Peter’s words to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here,” and God’s words reiterated from his baptism. “This is my Son, my Chosen, listen to him.”
“Lord, it is good for us to be here.”
Y’all, it is good for us to come together in the presence of the Lord. It is good for us to be together in worship, to be together as a community, and to be together during these scary times.
“This is my Son, my Chosen, listen to him.”
It is good for us to remember our baptisms and to realize that we do not have to be perfect.
It is good for us to remember that we do not have to have all the answers.
It is good for us to be together so that we remember that grace is powerful and that second chances are possible.
Most importantly it is good for us to be here so that we can proclaim that God exists, that love is real, and that the Gospel may yet change the world.
It is good for us to be here to live into our faith and not into our fear.
It is good for us to be together especially if we are vaccinated and masked.
It is good for us to remember that the story does not end on the top of the mountain, but with the disciples coming down off the mountain, with strict orders not to tell anyone what they saw immediately, but after the resurrection.
It is good for us to be here together so that, together, we can come down off the mountain.
Y’all, it is good for us to be together. It is good for us to be here together and to meet one another, wherever we are on our faith journey. It is good for us to be together to proclaim God’s goodness during the pandemic and its associated messiness and dysfunction of our lives. It is good for us to come together and sing with the saints. It is good for us to come to together and break bread together. It is good for us to come together and remember that transfiguration can happen in our own lives. It is good for us to be here today so we can grow in our faith, support, and strengthen our community.
Please take the risk of encountering God, Christ, and a community bound by a faith that guides us in our lives through all perils. As we journey through this pandemic and as we change and vary our practices (perhaps even day to day) let us remember that it is good for us to be here and to be here together.