Homily: February 7, 2016
February 7, 2016, YEAR C; Rev. Phil Boelter, Vicar Does anyone remember the old Peggy Lee song?
“Is that all there is?”
Four verses of sighing and complaining and rehearsing her troubled life-
And each time the chorus-
“Is That all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that’s all there is my friend,
then let’s keep dancing.
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball,
If that’s all there is.”
There are times in our lives when we look around and wonder,
“Is that all there is?”
We look at our life, our circumstances,
and we want more.
There is a restlessness,
a searching, and longing for something else.
Such was the feast of the Transfiguration
for both Jesus and the disciples.
It was a pause in the midst of a busy life,
a wake up call to examine what’s really important here and now.
Some call such times a mid-life crisis.
It can make us do crazy things – this searching and seeking.
We get a new job, a new car, a new relationship.
Maybe we take up a new hobby,
go on a trip, or work extra hours.
But, it is not really about the circumstances of life.
It’s about us.
This restlessness, this desire for something more,
generally means that we have been living life
at the shallow end of the pool.
We’ve been skimming across the surface.
We fail to see and experience
that the world is already transfigured
and creation is already filled with the divine light.
We don’t need to see new things.
We need to see the same old things with new eyes.
We don’t need to hear a different voice.
We need to hear the same old voice with different ears.
We don’t need to escape the circumstances of our life.
We need to be more fully present to those circumstances.
These are the transfigured moments,
moments when the static picture of our life
becomes a window into a new world
and we come face to face with the glory of God.
At some point we are called to begin slow down a little bit,
to come apart for a time
and discover the God who is beyond the circumstances.
Jesus is leading Peter, James and John,
up the mountain to discover the God who is beyond circumstances.
There on the mountain
they saw Jesus “transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no one on earth could bleach them.”
The cloud overshadowed them
and the Father’s voice spoke of his beloved son.
The disciples AND Jesus descended the mountain that day
With new purpose, new drive, new life.
On this Mount of Transfiguration
we step into a new way of seeing,
a new way of hearing,
and above all a new way of being in the world
above and beyond
and in a certain since apart from
the circumstances of our lives.
That’s what happened for Peter, James, and John.
Jesus didn’t suddenly light up and become something he was not.
The disciples eyes were healed and opened
so they could see Jesus as he had always been.
But the Transfiguration is as much about them and about us
as it is about Jesus.
WE are transfigured.
When we climb that mountain
our circumstances haven’t changed.
But WE OURSELVES have changed
and that changes everything.
Those transfigured moments are all around us.
Every one of us could tell a story
about stepping back from the picture of our life,
seeing with new eyes,
listening with different ears,
and discovering a window
that opened into another world and another way of being.
Several years ago s friend of mine was failing college,
Depressed, even suicidal.
He quit going to classes,
And was totally wrapped up in himself.
He was about to give up entirely on dreams
Of a career, a family, a life.
Then something changed
when he began to look beyond the circumstances.
He had the same high IQ,
the same classes,
the same friends,
the same dorm room.
Nothing outward changed.
But from the inside,
In his very being,
He was supported by his friends and a college counselor,
And he began to be raised up above his problems.
a new light dawned in his life.
That has happened to me more than once-
a chance encounter with someone sitting at a bar,
a conversation on a bus.
Months or years later
we look back and say to ourselves,
that’s where things began to change.
Such Transfigured moments change us,
and guide us into the future
regardless of the circumstances we face.
They show us who we are…..
People who remain very much the same every day,
But people also transfigured by the light,
The presence of God and Christ in our lives.
We stand on the mountain
With Jesus, James and John,
Moses and Elijah.
We stand posed on the very pinnacle of who we are
the transfigured people of God.
Open your eyes and see a transfigured world.
Open your ears and hear the transfiguring voice.
Open your heart and experience this transfigured life.