Monday, August 06, 2007

Transfiguration

Monday, August 6, 2007 -- Week of Proper 13
The Transfiguration of our Lord

"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html

Audio Podcasts of today's "Morning Reflection" and those from the past week are available from http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id244.html (go to St. Paul's Home Page www.stpaulsfay.org and click "Morning Reflection podcast")

Today's Readings for the Daily Office

EITHER the readings for Monday in Proper 13 (p. 976)
Psalms 80 (morning) 77, [79] (evening)
2 Samuel 7:1-17
Acts 18:1-11
Mark 8:11-21

OR the readings for The Transfiguration (p. 998)
Morning Prayer: Psalms 2, 24 / Exodus 24:12-18 / 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
Evening Prayer: Psalms 72 / Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 / John 12:27-26a

(I read the propers for The Feast of the Transfiguration)

Moses enters the fire and cloud, which is the presence of God. When he returns from the mountain, he is radiant. His skin glows in such a way that the people become troubled.

Paul proclaims a vision of "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. ...For it is the God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." Jesus, the human face of God. To see Jesus is to see God in a human life. Such a vision transfigures humanity and opens our eyes to see the divine.

From time to time the veil parts, and we glimpse deeper into the wonder of reality. Whenever we are grasped by the beauty and mystery of life, we are open to a moment of transfiguration.

Thomas Merton's entry in his private journal for March 19, 1958 -- "Yesterday, in Louisville, at the corner of 4th and Walnut, suddenly realized that I loved all the people and that none of them were, or, could be totally alien to me. As if waking from a dream -- the dream of separateness, of the 'special' vocation to be different. My vocation does not really make me different from the rest of men or put me is a special category except artificially, juridically. I am still a member of the human race—and what more glorious destiny is there for man, since the Word was made flesh and became, too, a member of the Human Race!

"Thank God! Thank God! I am only another member of the human race, like all the rest of them. I have the immense joy of being a man! As if the sorrows of our condition could really matter, once we begin to realize who and what we are—as if we could ever begin to realize it on earth."

I think every person on the planet has an experience that lets them glimpse below the superficial reality into some of the depths of beauty and wonder that is creation. It maybe something that can happen daily.

I remember driving early one morning, entering an interstate highway. I was bothered and troubled by something, and felt inadequate to face something I needed to face. As I began to speed up on the acceleration ramp, I was grasped by the green color of the interstate sign. It seemed so intense, so vivid, shimmering with life and light. The sign was absolutely beautiful, and something within its beauty seemed friendly, almost personal. I was amazed at the stunning particular greenness of that interstate sign, and I chuckled to myself, realizing how many interstate signs I had passed, and never seen their glorious beauty before. With that momentary insight, I knew I could handle the problem that had troubled me. I was at peace, completely grateful, to be alive in such a wondrous universe.

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries
(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

Lowell

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The Rev. Lowell Grisham
St
.
Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, AR

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life:
We aspire to...
worship weekly
pray daily
learn constantly
serve joyfully
live generously.

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