High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
— “Be Thou My Vision” (Trad. Irish Hymn)
A moment with Maureen —
BE THOU MY VISION, Maureen Howell, pianist
WORDS: Traditional Irish Hymn, translated by Mary E. Byrne, 1905, versified, by Eleanor H. Hull, 1912
MUSIC: “Slane,” Traditional Irish melody. This arrangement: © 2005, Maureen Howell.
Transfiguration – a mystery
The story of Christ’s transfiguration is traditionally read in many congregations on this, the last Sunday before Lent. (Mark 9:2-9)
In a nutshell, it goes like this . . .
Jesus takes his friends Peter, James, and John up on a mountaintop, whereupon the Lord is suddenly seen in dazzling light, conversing with Elijah and Moses: two pillars from Israel’s history.
It’s unclear when the change happened, but the disciples are dumbstruck until Peter screws up enough courage to offer a not-so-bright idea. He suggests they set up a memorial park to commemorate the mysterious sight.
About that time, a talking cloud comes floating by proudly announcing (in God’s voice): “This is my Son whom I love. You should listen to him!” Elijah and Moses are out of there so fast, nobody saw where they went. (Makes you wonder if God’s voice startled them.)
As the four men start back down the mountain, Jesus has yet to say a word for them to listen to. Nothing is more mysterious than silence, which he finally breaks with instructions for them to keep all of this under their hats for now — at least until after he is raised from the dead.
That last comment about being “raised from the dead” leaves Peter, James, and John scratching their heads and muttering questions, but our lectionary reader closes the book. More to come later, which is a mystery. And that is enough. In fact, that seems to be the point. It is not necessary for us to understand. Only to worship.
Lord, give us eyes to see, along with willingness and courage to consider it a vision. Be our vision.
Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration.
You don’t have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see.
Only, who could have the courage to see it?
— Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
A blessing for the day —
May the dazzling and mysterious light of God’s glory shine in our hearts;
may it light our paths and make visible to us the glory of God in all creation;
and may that light surround us in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, now and for evermore. Amen.
— Dalen C. Jackson
Maureen Howell serves Crestwood Christian Church, Lexington, KY as Office Administrator & Pianist and has been posting these wonderful audio reflections weekly on their Facebook page.