This Sunday is the Last Sunday of Epiphany, also known as Transfiguration Sunday. We will be serving pancakes during Coffee Hour – one last feast before we enter into our Lenten fasting. I hope you will join us for a pancake or two. Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday was the day that people would use up their sugar, eggs and fat before entering into Lent. People fasted from these during Lent, and worried that they would spoil before Easter. I will happily accept any excuse to eat pancakes.
When we talk about having a “mountaintop experience,” often we mean a time of profound revelation or closeness with God. Much like the Transfiguration we seek to join Jesus, Peter, John and James on the mountaintop. We want to hear the voice of God and see the world in a whole new way. And certainly mountaintop experiences are important – they can fuel our faith, revitalize our lives and give us refreshed hope. But life cannot be only a mountaintop experience. We need to spend time in the world as well. Even though we’d much prefer to stay up on the mountain.
As much as we would like to stay on the mountain – above all the confusion of life, sure and confident – we have to return. We must descend so that we can engage and live in the world once more, changed by our mountaintop experience, but not stuck there. We bring the mountaintop back with us, hold it and share it with those around us, perhaps with words, perhaps in a new energy and focus. On the mountain we have the space to see that God is with us, and it is our challenge to live out that knowledge in our daily lives, transformed and yet still present.
Ash Wednesday is coming up on February 26. We will have service at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. This doorway into Lent is a time of contrition, as well as almsgiving, fasting and prayer. As we start our season of moving closer to God, we begin by acknowledging what keeps us away from God, and how transient it all is. We are made from dust, and we will return to dust one day. In the meantime, let’s not let anything prevent us from celebrating our relationship with the God who loves us so very dearly!
Prayers and blessings,