Transfiguration by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, 1824
Each year, just before we begin the season of Lent, the church encounters the story of the Transfiguration of our Lord as recorded in one of the three synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. (This year we hear Matthew's version, Matthew 17:1-9.)
While each of these accounts have unique features and particular emphases, they all share a common function of reminding us of Jesus’ identity just before the decent into the journey that leads to the cross on another hill outside Jerusalem.
I suspect that it is when we are anticipating challenge, suffering, anguish, and anxiety of any sort, that we are most in need of being reminded not only of Jesus’ identity, but also of our own. When we consider our identity in the midst of difficulty and adversity, we do well to lift up our hearts and set our gaze upon the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
It is a true tragedy that we are most often merely content with the definition of our lives (and our life together) as written by the fears and appetites of the world. That is, in seeking first not the Kingdom of God, but rather the security and comfort of this world, we miss out big time! In fact, we may often set off on an entirely fruitless itinerary rife with a multitude of shoots and ladders that leaves us off where we started, disoriented and afraid.
It doesn't have to be that way anymore. The lost can be found. Ours is a calling to a better way, into a fuller truth, that leads to a lasting life. The Body of Christ that is transfigured includes you and me. We are not simply spectators of God’s work. Because of our identity as Children of God, as brothers and sisters of one another in Christ, we get to be participants and co-workers in the kingdom God, here and now.
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Faith Formation Forum
A five-week series of classes exploring five faith practices
that are grounded in our Baptismal Covenant
Begins this Sunday, March 2 at 8:45 AM
St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church
2695 Luther Drive