The Christian tradition offers much wisdom to help us live the best lives we can. Its wisdom can help us grow and transform ourselves and be instruments of the Spirit, helping transform the world into something more like God’s realm of mercy, justice and peace. The wisdom is in scriptures and rituals, in spiritual writings and the lives of world-famous and unsung local saints, and it is also in the structure of the church year.
This Sunday is one of two that remind us how important it is to fill ourselves with light and with a vision of Christ’s beautiful ideal when we are entering a time of darkness and wilderness and suffering and struggle.
The church year gives us the gift of Transfiguration Sunday on the eve of Lent, just as it gives us Reign of Christ Sunday on the eve of Advent. The church year and the Spirit lead us into times of struggle and growth, dark nights of the soul when we are invited to do shadow work, looking deep within for what needs healing or transformation, but they give us a glimpse of the light at the end of that tunnel before we go. The light guides us, comforts us and strengthens us for the journey.
So this Sunday we will fill ourselves with all the glorious light we can, and we will look at the ideal for ourselves as individuals, for us as a church, for us as a world toward which our Lenten journey will be heading. We will see Christ as a being of light, as God’s beloved child, and as a model for what all humans, including us, are capable of becoming.
We will read selections from traditional Transfiguration Psalms and II Corinthians as well as the story in Mark of Jesus telling us what we need to do in order to be transfigured ourselves, and then going up the mountain where he is transfigured. We will sing three of our most light-filled, beloved hymns, “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise,” and “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” and the more recent “Hymn of Promise,” that begins, “In the bulb there is a flower.”
The choir will sing a rousing Civil Rights Movement Introit, “This Little Light of Mine,” and the beloved thanksgiving canon, “For Thy Gracious Blessings,” and an Anthem by J. Voss arranged by the Amidons, “The Thing That Makes You Beautiful.” Beauty is so closely connected to the light and to the ideal life. Every Sunday choir director and pianist Annemieke McLane brings such brilliant beauty into our lives, this week with piano pieces by Edvard Grieg as well as a rendition of “Give Me That Old Time Religion.”
It will be a Sunday of gratitude and shared ideals and joy. All are welcome always! If you would like to sing this week’s uplifting and joyous pieces with the choir, simply show up at 9:00 AM Sunday morning–no prior experience or religious affiliation necessary.