Friday, August 7, 2015

Bishop’s Note: Gifts of the Holy Spirit – Service

Bishop Eric Menees

"And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!'" (Luke 9:35)

Today, August 6th, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration.  One of those feast days that all too often gets set aside or transferred.  And yet with it we recall a pinnacle of the faith, literally and metaphorically.

Immediately following St. Peter's confession of faith (Luke 9:20 "Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”)

Jesus invited Peter, James & John up the mountain to pray with him. There Jesus was transfigured before them - his clothes and countenance became a dazzling white.  At his  side appeared Moses and Elijah - representing the Law and the prophets along with Jesus' fulfillment of both.

Peter recognizes the importance of the moment but not its significance. “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”— not knowing what he said.” (Luke 9:33)

Scholars are uncertain about the meaning of Peter's statement - some argue that Peter wanted to serve and honor the three and others argue that Peter was telling the Lord, "Let's set up camp because I don't want to go down the mountain." My intuition tells me that it is the later.  Haven't you had that feeling?  You are on retreat or even simply in worship and have the desire to simply remain in the presence of the Lord?

Last week we held the High School Camp at Camp San Joaquin and the Anglican Fourth Day at ECCO and at the end of both the participants said, "I don't want to go home." But home we must go - or more accurately back out to the world.

You see Jesus reveals himself to us in Word and Sacrament, in the power of the Holy Spirit, in the midst of worship - whenever - not simply for our enjoyment and edification but for our empowerment to go back out and engage a broken and fallen world with the love of Christ.

Down the Mount of Transfiguration the disciples would go following Jesus to his crucifixion and ultimately to his resurrection!  The disciples would encounter the Risen Jesus and be sent into the world to share the Gospel - the Good News of Salvation in Jesus Christ!

Today, as we remember Jesus' Transfiguration - his demonstration of who he was and is - fully man and fully God - let us commit, once again, to go out into a world that is lost and alone with the Good News of Jesus Christ leading others up the mount and into the presence of God's only begotten son, Jesus Christ!

Let us pray: O God, who on the holy mount revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening: Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in his beauty; who with you, O Father, and you, O Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

I pray you all a truly blessed week!

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