Sunday’s festival of the Transfiguration of Our Lord is a bridge between the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany cycle that comes to a close today and the Lent-Easter cycle that begins in several days. On a high mountain Jesus is revealed as God’s beloved Son, echoing the words at his baptism. This vision of glory sustains us as Jesus faces his impending death in Jerusalem. We turn this week to Ash Wednesday and our yearly baptismal journey from Lent to Easter.
We often speak of mountaintop experiences as those joyous times we look forward to with excitement and look back upon fondly. For me such experiences came through summer camp at Camp Chrysalis and a hiking trip to Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp. Eventually, of course, the time comes to leave that mountain, walking with Jesus down to the valley and getting dusty with the ashes of daily life. On Sunday, we – like many churches – symbolically “bury the Alleluias,” recognizing that this is the end of a glorious season celebrating Christ’s light and the entrance to the “valley” season of Lent. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing good down in the valley. On the contrary, the traditional disciplines of Lent—fasting, prayer, and gifts to the poor—all help us maintain the eyes, ears, and heart to see and hear God whenever and however God appears. Join us this Sunday as Deacon Bri preaches and helps us bridge from Epiphany to Lent!
Image: The Transfiguration by Duccio di Buoninsegna (1278–1319). Copyright © Image Asset Management/Superstock. Used by permission.