Photo via Flickr user Carsten Tolkmit
Scripture Readings: Genesis 2.1-4; 2 Timothy 1.8-10; Matthew 17.1-9
“This is my beloved Son, on whom my favor rests. Listen to him.” – Matthew 17.5
Matthew’s account of the Jesus’ transfiguration is the preeminent story of transformation, a crossroads event. Just a few verses earlier Jesus tells his followers for the first time that he will suffer, die, and rise on the third day. This summary distills Jesus’ whole story as the early Christians told it and the evangelists later wrote it down. In Sunday’s gospel Peter, James, and John are in the midst of living the story. In the transfiguration Jesus lets them glimpse the path through death to resurrection. The vision disturbs their lives. Jesus tells them not to fear. We who read this account see Jesus in his place in history behind the prophets Moses and Elijah, and we anticipate with Peter, James, and John their future as Jesus’ disciples.
Identify a crossroads experience in your life—a peak or valley.
Start a small bible study. Be a leader.
Click on the image to download your Lenten cross.
The light of God showing through Jesus bedazzles his disciples in Sunday’s gospel of the Transfiguration, giving us a glimpse of Easter early in Lent. The Transfiguration calls us to our Lenten transformation into Christ, to shine with love of every neighbor.
Spring also calls us to the new life of Easter. Sunlight blesses us daily with vitamin D as it warms Earth. Trees and plants awaken for their invisible daily miracle of transforming sunlight into the air we breathe.
Let us praise God for all the warmth others spread in our lives — the lady who let us ahead in the supermarket line, the man who holds the door open, the baby who giggles at us over his mother’s shoulder. Like air and light these nearly invisible small acts shine and warm our community. We have lie as a gift from God to share in love.
If you have downloaded our Lenten cross, the following are suggestions for coloring it in. It’s not too late to start this activity with your family.
When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 1 on your Lenten cross green.
- Plant a tree.
- Plant grasses and flowers on your boulevard or in your yard. A patch of prairie provides seeds for birds.
When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 2 on your Lenten cross yellow.
- Try a vegetarian food or recipe this week.
- Clean unneeded clothes and shoes out of your closet. Donate what is good.
When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 3 on your Lenten cross purple.
- Take time for silence. Breathe in, saying, “Spirit of God with me.” Breathe out, saying, “Spirit of Love in me.”
- Begin a family meal by having each person state a hope for the whole human family.
When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 4 on your Lenten cross blue.
- Visit the Half the Sky movement to read about their initiatives to end human trafficking.
- Read Matthew 25.31-46 to find out where we can find Jesus any day.
FAMILY and FRIENDS
When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 5 on your Lenten cross red.
- Give up a grudge, an imagined enemy, or an old hurt. Pursue happiness.
- Call or email your oldest friend to say thanks for years of love and loyalty.
When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 6 on your Lenten cross orange.
- Volunteer to tutor kids or help people with groceries.
- Imagine celebrating your next birthday by asking your friends to join you in a project that serves others, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen. Start planning.
Sunday Readings: Genesis 22.1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18; Romans 8.31-34; Mark 9.2-10
“Suddenly looking around, Peter, James, and John no longer saw anyone with them — only Jesus.”
The Orthodox Church sees in the transfiguration what the whole of Christian life is about — transformation into Christ. Prayer leads to transforming communion with God. This mystical experience to the prophetic; communion leads to action.
Both Jesus and his disciples need the profound, prayerful heartening of the transfiguration moment to sustain them on the journey to Jerusalem and beyond. Life at the foot of the mountain will test the vision.
What vision for your Christian future are you testing at the foot of the mountain?
Start a small bible study. Be a leader.