Friday, July 31, 2015
Transfiguration August 6th Hiroshima August 6th Reflection
As one priest said to me last week, “In the Transfiguration for a moment we see Heaven and Earth in the same space.”
Jesus is the true meeting-place of heaven and earth.
When we worship in Jesus, in Holy Spirit, heaven is therefore open to us.
There is Communion. “Holy, Holy, Holy” – as we sing in the Sanctus.
Prefiguring His Resurrected glory, in the Transfiguration, we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus.
No wonder the disciples wanted to hold on to the moment. As we all do in moments of profound insight. Especially moment of insight into the glory of God.
After a Confirmation last week, one of our priests, the Revd Kim Beale and I were talking about how the Lord’s anointing was vivid as we prayed … “Strengthen your servant with your Holy Spirit ..”
Kim is young and humble. A beautiful combination. Rare in any day. Old and humble is also rare most days.
He asked me how long it’s taken me to learn to take time over such matters. I said I couldn’t remember.
I said I am sometimes very aware of the Spirit moving through me. Sometimes not so much.
I just wait until it seems time to speak, meanwhile praying “Jesus have mercy”.
I said what I do know is that I have barely touched the edge of the divine glory.
Afterwards, I was surprised I’d said that. It was a word given to me to keep me attentive … humbler.
The grace of Jesus does transfigure our perceptions.
It’s all a question of how much glory we can bear, before we pray with Isaiah, Peter, others before us “Depart from me, I am a person of unclean lips …” (Luke 5:8)
Transfigured Perceptions or Disfigured perceptions. That is humankind’s choice.
As we know Jesus went down the Mountain into chaos and disease. (Mark 9: 14-29)
Poignantly, the Feast of Transfiguration August 6th also coincides with the date of the Hiroshima bomb.. The awful disfiguring of a nuclear bomb dropped on families at breakfast, children preparing for school.
People still die from the genetic damage caused by that bomb.
In the latest TMA (page 2), our Archbishop writes wisely about this disfiguring moment, 70 years ago in Hiroshima, then also Nagasaki. He urges the elimination of nuclear weapons.
As we know, the Disfiguring of Hiroshima reflects hearts disfigured, enmities and violent urges in the one human family on our precious earth in a vast universe.
The Transfigured Jesus, portrayed by the light touch of Fra Angelico, calls us to Peace … and to be Peacemakers in our homes, communities, everywhere.
Bishop Philip Huggins