Message from April 24.

Springtime, the transfiguration, and the risen Christ.

Jesus took Peter, John and James with Him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about His departure, which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.         (Luke 9:28-31)

As we celebrate this Easter fulfillment we recognize that the transfiguration of Jesus foreshadowed His death, resurrection, and ascension. We live now with the hope that one day the resurrected Jesus will return in full glory to make all things new.

Praising our Saviour all the day long.

In that theme, Desmond Tutu offered the following reflection that is appropriate in the context of the realities of today.

“It is often difficult for us to recognize the presence of God in our lives and in our world. In the clamor of the tragedy that fills the headlines we forget about the majesty that is present all around us. We feel vulnerable and often helpless . . . but we are not helpless and with God’s love we are ultimately invincible. God does not forget those who are suffering and oppressed.

I recall a meeting at a theological college that had closed down because of government racist policies. During our discussions I went into the priory garden for some quiet. There was a huge Calvary—a large wooden cross with protruding nails and crown of thorns. It was a stark symbol of the Christian faith. It was winter: the grass was pale and dry and nobody would have believed that in a few weeks’ time it would be lush and green and beautiful again. It would be transfigured.

As I sat quietly I realized the power of transfiguration—of God’s transformation—in our world. The principle of transfiguration is at work when something as unlikely as the brown grass that covers the ground in winter becomes bright green again, or when the tree with gnarled leafless branches bursts forth with the sap flowing so that the birds sit chirping in the leafy branches, or when the once dry streams gurgle with swift-flowing water. When winter gives way to spring and nature seems to experience its own resurrection.

The principle of transfiguration says that nothing, no one and no situation, is “untransfigurable,” that the whole of creation, nature, waits expectantly for its transfiguration, when it will be released from its bondage and share in the glorious liberty of the children of God, when it will not be just dry inert matter but will be translucent with divine glory. . . .

All over this magnificent world God calls us to extend the kingdom of shalom—peace and wholeness—of justice, of goodness, of compassion, of caring, of sharing, of laughter, of joy, and of reconciliation. God is transfiguring the world right this very moment through us because God believes in us and because God loves us. What can separate us from the love of God? Nothing.  Absolutely nothing. And as we share God’s love with our brothers and sisters, God’s other children, there is no tyrant who can resist us, no oppression that cannot be ended, no hunger that cannot be fed, no wound that cannot be healed, no hatred that cannot be turned to love, no dream that cannot be fulfilled.”

Desmond Tutu

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