Grace and peace to you from God our father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ amen
Today is the final day of the season of Epiphany. Wednesday we begin our journey, walking with Jesus to the cross. We will have crosses marked on our foreheads with ashes to remind us of the 40 days that lead to the cross.
Epiphany is the season of light; it begins with a star leading several wise men to baby Jesus as God reveals Jesus to the world. Epiphany ends with light too. On this last Sunday after Epiphany we hear
the story of the transfiguration. Transfiguration means change. The Webster on-line dictionary describes this change in two ways: a physical change in form or appearance, or a glorifying or spiritual change.
Jesus invites the three leaders of His group of followers on a field trip up a mountain to pray. While Peter, John and James watched Jesus’ appearance changed from the inside out. Right before their eyes light poured from his face, His clothes were filled with light! Then as if that wasn’t enough drama, two of the most important people from the old stories drop by for a conversation with Jesus.
But there is so much more going on here. Peter decides the best thing to do is make shelters for everyone. Of course that makes no sense but we have to give Peter a break here. The three apostles were so tired they could hardly keep their eyes open. Peter had no idea what he was saying. God INTERRUPTS right in the middle of Peter’s great plans. God has a habit of interrupting lives.
If you read the biographies of the saints, you can see that God interrupt lots of people’s lives. Even Martin Luther had his moment. When God interrupted his life, Luther was on the road to becoming a lawyer. Something his father had probably been planning since Martin was a baby. Having a son who was a lawyer would make any father proud, but God had other plans for Martin Luther! Whatever happened to Luther on the road in that storm, Luther’s life changed completely. He became a monk, then a priest, and eventually the man who started the Reformation.
We have been talking for the past few weeks how Jesus is turning the world upside down; Love your enemies, give to those who cannot repay you Etc. God’s interruption calling the apostles and everyone to listen to Jesus reinforces the last thing that Jesus said to the apostles before going up the mountain. Jesus warned them that he was going to Jerusalem to be tortured crucified, and on the third day rise from the dead.
On the mountain, Peter is making construction plans when God interrupts him too. “This is My Son, My chosen one Listen to him!” That’s quite the interruption! Has God ever interrupted your life?
I'm not talking about what happened to Martin Luther, or even to the apostles on the mountain.
No, I’m talking about things like interrupting an attitude or belief you aren’t really aware of. Maybe when you see someone you have walked past for a long time and didn’t notice, someone who is hurting in need of help, when all of a sudden you notice and are called to take action, to be God's hands in helping that person. That’s the kind of interruption that can happen when you follow God's command to listen to Jesus, because that’s what we do here when we read the scripture isn’t it?
All those things Jesus has been saying during this season of Epiphany: love your enemies, take of the poor, eed the hungry
If we are listening those words come back to us when we encounter someone we might consider an enemy, when we see people mistreated or learn that there are people here in Dobbs Ferry who don’t have enough food to eat.
I pray that we hear God calling us to listen to Jesus, and that we allow ourselves to be interrupted, to step out of our ordered routine lives and join other followers of Jesus turning the world upside down