St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church
Diocese of New Westminster
Anglican Church of Canada
Wednesday 7:00 pm
March 3rd Transfiguration Sunday, 2019 John Marsh
Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2: Luke 9:28-36, 37-43a
The transfiguration of Jesus births questions of plausibility, questions inquiring, ‘Did this actually happen?’
Dodging the distraction of the rationalist’s question, avoiding the literalist’s shallow response, the transfiguration, in this telling of the story, raises questions of our response…
If we sense the transfigured Jesus, if we hear the transfigured Jesus, ‘Will we respond?’
Do we respond?
Do we stay up the mountain?
Do we prefer mountain top experiences, constructing ‘booths of glory’?
Will we risk being reconfigured by one transfigured?
Will we come down from the mountain top risking encounter with those convulsed by social demons, demons structural, psychic, personal?
Will we risk the kingdom of god, risk committing to working for god’s reign, a reign responding to calls of justice, compassion, hospitality, calls of faith, hope and love?
To repeat, are we willing, open, to being reconfigured, changed by one transfigured, one bearing a divine mark, a mark of faith, hope and love?
Are we willing to hear, respond to kingdom calls?
The kingdom which is a religious relationship to the world and one another, where one loves and then does what one wills, where reciprocity binds wounds of obligation, pours balm upon open wounds…
The kingdom a community where, the isolation of my being accused, those accused, find relief, a community of the forgiven who then forgive others…
The kingdom a madness, a madness of forgiving, forgiving debts, the ‘logic’ of paradoxical gifts, gifts received only when we risk giving all away, even when, especially when, we give our credit, when we give-forth…¹
The kingdom a renunciation, renouncing getting even, retribution, pay back, squaring the accounts, renouncing equality in the name of a community of equals, opening to possibilities of ‘all equally forgiven and all equally detached from getting even’…²
The kingdom in which love gives life buoyancy, soul, rhythm, a certain free play in starting over, being turned around, lifted up, lifted up by the spectral evidence of things that appear not, sustained by the hope for what is not present, the stuff of faith, buoyed by the declaration:
"This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" (v.35b)
¹ See John Caputo, The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida: Religion without Religion p.228 (Indiana University Press) 1997.
² Ibid, p.228