2nd Sunday of Lent | March 8, 2020
I don’t deal well with change.
I don’t like goodbyes.
And I have never been a big fan of endings.
All facts that were established pretty early on in my life.
In fact I distinctly remember one of those moments my 8th grade year.
We had just wrapped up our 8th grade production of Cinderella and were striking the set.
Walking through the empty locker rooms and staring at the empty stage, one of us began to cry.
And then suddenly, it all fell apart.
Here we were, a group of about 8-10 middle school students, sobbing in a circle as our director stared at us with a blend of confusion, pity and exasperation.
Every attempt to break us up just added fuel to the fire. Our tears would come more furiously. The sobs became louder.
And the clock kept ticking.
30 minutes. An hour. 2 hours.
Finally, the director realized we were out of time. Buses were pulling into the parking lot. And she was not trapping herself with a bunch of hysterical children in a gym overnight.
So she looked at us and said, calmly but clearly, “You can catch your bus. Or call the main office and have your parents come and get you.
But you can no longer stay here, kids.”
Maybe that is why I empathize with Peter so much in this Gospel.
Because I totally understand that impulse, that desire to simply stay on the mountaintop forever.
To build the tents
To stay in a place where you feel safe. Surrounded by people you love.
To soak in that view.
But Jesus doesn’t allow Peter that opportunity.
He does not get to stay on the mountaintop.
No, on the contrary, he must keep moving forward. Towards Jerusalem. Towards the crucifixion. Towards resurrection.
And in Peter’s journey, we are presented with a mirror to reflect on our own journeys.
For the reality is, we are all constantly moving up and down mountaintops.
We each have those moments that we wish could last forever.
The night of one’s wedding reception or senior night.
The Christmas holidays or the vacation that you had planned for years
The final performance. The final game. Those final moments walking across campus.
Our last day in the job we’ve loved. Our last night in the family home.
And like Peter, the thought of leaving those moments can be unsettling, terrifying or agonizing.
But in our story of the Transfiguration, we are given some important reminders as we continue on that journey.
Which is that Christ remains with us every step of the journey. No matter what is changing in our lives. No matter how we are changing in the process.
In the moments of joy and security and comfort.
In the moments of fear and uncertainty.
In the moments of frustration and defeat and failure
In the moments of loss and grief.
Christ is there.
Whispering the same words once shouted from the sky.
You are my beloved son. My beloved daughter.
Right now. In this moment.
No matter where you stand. No matter what you’ve done.
No matter where you are going. No matter what you leave behind.
You ____________ are my beloved.
So keep on moving my friends. For the journey always awaits us.
May God be Praised.