Put on a Shiny Face

Reading the texts for this Sunday, I find it difficult to make the focus on the sermon ‘all about God’ instead of focusing on the impact on the people surrounding God. Here’s what I mean:

  1. In Exodus, Moses stands in the presence of God and Moses gets a shiny face. When Moses leaves the mountain, he scares the Israelites half to death. He has to walk around with a veil so the people don’t freak.
  2. Paul tells the Corinthians that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
  3. And in the gospel text, Peter sees the transfigured Jesus and turns into a babbling idiot. Then, when the voice speaks, all three (Peter, James, and John) fall flat on their faces.

It seems the easier route to go is what does this say about me rather than what does this say about God. I hate to admit it, but Transfiguration Sunday is my least favourite Sunday to preach. Maybe I am not so good with the experience of God passages.

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2 thoughts on “Put on a Shiny Face

  1. I had a similar reaction when I read the texts a couple weeks ago. Transfiguration Sunday is a curious one for me, too. It is tied up with issues that may not be pressing for the average pew-sitter or pastor.

    What is God doing here? What is it about God that is manifested in shining faces? We talk so often about subtle manifestations of God. This is not one of those.

  2. I have wondered that as well, John, that the issues of Transfiguration don’t tend to crop up with the average pew sitter.

    You are right – this is certainly not a manifestation that is subtle! Interesting that this year it follows the calling of Peter. A lot of reflections I read talked about how God comes when one is about their ordinary, daily routine. This is certainly not the case either.

    I did take some comfort that the podcast of WorkingPreacher.com said many people feel a little lost with Transfiguration Sunday. They also said not to shy away from questions about what happens to the person. I think with these, one has to at least look at them.

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