Transformation occurs as we pour out our lives in love and concern for others.
The Transfiguration of Moses, Jesus and All Saints!
At Evening Prayer last night, we read the lessons appropriate to the Feast of the Transfiguration. We read of Moses meeting God on Mt Sinai and coming down with his face glowing. Then we read about Jesus, as he was about to go to Jerusalem and ascended a high mountain where he became radiant as he was surrounded by God’s presence and voice.
Do we bow humbly in worship of these chosen leaders of faith or do we see them as archetypes for our own life? These options are not mutually exclusive. That is to say we can both follow Moses and Jesus and also seek to share their experience of God.
Another thing we can say, is that each of them received the blessing of God’s dazzling presence while in the process of serving ordinary people. Moses led his people out of bondage towards a land of hope, and helped deliver laws that would govern and shape their common life. Jesus healed people and taught them that they could find life and freedom, i.e. the Kingdom of God in the here and now, by responding to human need and offering their own life to others.
I mention these acts of service in order to join together two aspects of religious life. Yes, we want the experience of an encounter with the divine that transfigures our lives. This is sometimes called a mystical experience or personal salvation. But that is not the full picture. The full picture is that transformation occurs as we pour out our lives in love and concern for others. When we lose our lives, we will find our lives. We also read that God prefers loving-kindness and mercy to sacrificial offerings.
We are called into the world to love others, practice justice and become agents of mercy. It is in so doing that we place ourselves in a position to receive the grace that transfigures us. This grace enables us to expand our outreach and mission, it expands our depth and our breadth and allows us to receive more grace and so we become more like Moses and Jesus, i.e. agents of divine healing and liberation in this life.