Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Transfiguration of our Lord - Monday 6 August 2018

My Friends,

The Transfiguration of our Lord.

Epistle: 2 Timothy 1 8b-12
Gospel: Matthew 17 1-9

How do you wake up in the morning ? Is your sleep disturbed by an awful threshing noise from an old-fashioned alarm clock?
Or do you have a radio alarm clock, which wakes you up with all the misery of the world when you wake up ?

I do not put an alarm clock at all. I wake up when it becomes light. That's why I think it's wonderful that it's spring again now and it's becoming increasingly light in the morning. I'm even lucky that my bedroom is on the east so that the rising sun wakes me when the weather is clear.
In the winter, when it stays dark for a long time in the morning, I have a lot more trouble getting up. I resolved that this way: I put a timer on a couple of table lamps, so that it turns out to be light in time, so a kind of light alarm clock.

In the spring and summer I suffer much less from a morning mood. The sun makes life happier and gives everything colour and shine.
This is a beautiful picture of our spiritual and social life. The rising sun, the morning star for us is Jesus Christ. He gives us perspective, life force, solace in sadness, inspiration to commitment, perseverance, joy to the beautiful things in life. He brings light into the darkness of this life. He gives our lives colour and shine.

In today's Gospel  Jesus takes three apostles to the top of a mountain and His face starts to shine like the sun. A shining cloud overshadowed them, and a voice spoke: "This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to Him. "
The apostles threw themselves to the earth with fear, but Jesus said: "Stand up and do not be afraid". Those are words that allow us to wake up in the morning when we wake up. We are going to a new day. Sometimes we look forward to it, for example if there is something to celebrate; sometimes we see it because a heavy work load, an exam or a difficult interview awaits us. Jesus then says to us: "Get up and do not be afraid. I am with you".

Why did Jesus take Peter, James, and John with Him up the mountain to get that sign of His resurrection? That was because it was precisely these three apostles that to remain the closest to Jesus in His suffering.  Jesus took them into the Garden of Olives to continue to pray and watch with Him, waiting for Judas and the soldiers. John was still waiting beneath the cross of Jesus. John and Peter would visit the tomb on Easter morning when the women came to tell them that the tomb was empty. James would become the first leader of the Jerusalem Church and the first martyr among the apostles. The transformation and glorification of Jesus on Mount Tabor had to give these apostles the courage to endure suffering and to believe in the resurrection. The three of them would have also witness the moment  when Jesus awoke the little daughter of Jairus from the dead. Mark 5

At Easter we celebrated that the evil in the world , and unfortunately also in the Church of God and death,dont have the last word. Jesus suffered through this evil and died, but also rose from the dead. Then came Pentecost and the growth and florishing of the Church.

The Church in crises of today will recover and florish again, although I dont know when, as I dont know the future.

A former Old Catholic Bishop I used to know personally has this motto on his shield:" Take up your share in the suffering for the Gospel". That is very relevant in our times. If we are prepared to bear this suffering, if we remain faithful to Jesus, then the Church will experience a new spring. Light will conquer the darkness. Its Easter and Pentecost for the Church once more.

Father Ed Bakker
Priest & Missioner
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne

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