Don’t worry. I’m not going all high brow on you, dear reader. I think I stumbled my way through Romeo and Juliet, but honestly, I never really cared for Shakespeare. My theory that he was a hack is never a popular one, but it is my best guess as to why his plays are so hard to understand. Iambic pentameter be danged.
Now that I have sufficient raised your ire, let me get to the point of this post. This week is one of those rare occasions when a Major Feast takes precedence over a Sunday. Rather than hearing the lessons appointed for Proper 13 in Year A, Episcopalians will get to hear the story of the Transfiguration for the second time this year (we hear it read from one of the Synoptic Gospels every Last Sunday after the Epiphany). This mid-summer jaunt from the comfort of Matthew to the mountaintop in Luke is a challenging one. Our go-to preaching resources are all focused on feeding of the five thousand, we will have to navigate the mid-summer’s night stress dream that is an exhausted Peter, James, and John trying to wrap their brains around what they are seeing on the top of that mountain all by our lonesomes.
So, what are we to do? Let me tell you where not to start. Do not, I repeat, do not even consider eschewing the Transfiguration for Proper 13A. It is bad form, to say the least, and will make you liable to Title IV charges. If, then, we have to preach the Transfiguration, it seems that prayer would be a good place to start. We who are weighed down with the pressures of a new program year, who might struggle with preaching an all too familiar text in a new way, who are back from vacation and can’t seem to guzzle enough coffee, who are blogging snark at almost 9pm, should probably turn to God for help. Like it was for Peter, James, and John, we will be blessed by being present to God in the Transfiguration. Who knows, we might even begin to see the work of our Savior with new eyes.
So tonight, as I burn the midnight oil as payment for two weeks of non-contiguous vacation, I’m turning to prayer and listening for what God has to say through Jesus, Moses, and Elijah and Peter, James, and John.