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Stand upon your feet so you can bow and then fall flat prostrate on the floor

by davesandel on August 6th, 2021

Friday, August 6, 2021                                   (today’s lectionary)

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

 Stand up on your feet so you can bow and then fall flat prostrate on the floor

Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his seat. His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on his head was white as wool. His throne was flames of fire with wheels of burning fire. A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat. Thousands attended him, as the court was convened and the books were opened.

These throne rooms dot the I’s and cross the T’s of science fiction stories and space sagas. The leaders might be evil, and they might be good. Either way I am undone. Power and glory overwhelm us from the throne.

A Son of man was coming on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One he received dominion, glory and kingship. This dominion is everlasting, and it shall not be taken away.

Jesus is not only the son of man but also, we soon see, the son of the Ancient One in a triune way we might describe but never understand. He bridges the gap between the Ancient One, everlasting and imperious, and the rest of us, we thousands, we myriads of men and women and children from every age, learning the art of the eternal. But slow takes time. We need to serve this son of man, get to know his love and learn to love him back.

Let the earth rejoice and the islands be glad; the Lord is king. Clouds and darkness swirl around him, but justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne. The heavens proclaim his justice and even mountains melt like wax before the Lord of all the earth.

These prophecies of Daniel come to life on the mountain. On this Sabbath of Transfiguration, a big voice proclaims Jesus’ sonship, attended by Elijah, whose fiery chariot flew up to heaven with Elijah not yet dead, and Moses, the only man with whom God “spoke face to face.” On this Sabbath we don’t have time for naps.

Peter’s idea of tents to house these guys … well, there just isn’t time. Perhaps there are plans to be made, perhaps this reunion is so sweet the three don’t want to tear themselves away. Don’t blink your eyes; this is God’s power and might come to light on the shoulders of our leader and our teacher, this guy Jesus whom we kind of thought was one of us. His clothing dazzled us, it was as white as snow.

This is not a made-up story; we were eyewitnesses to the majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ. We heard the unique declaration from the majestic glory of God the Father: “This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

On Tuesday Margaret’s PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) was removed after about six weeks. It was 45 centimeters long, and it was threaded through a vein to a larger vein near her heart, into which her antibiotic was pumped each day. Margaret gave our nurse Mark a frozen Snickers ice cream bar when he was finished. We were all very happy!

Plus, we got to keep the PICC line, and the next day Miles had the chance to do what he had watched from a distance before. He cleaned the end with an alcohol swab and removed the end cap. He attached a syringe of saline solution, and squeezed it through the line. Out it came at the other end. What we could not see happening inside Margaret’s body, now we could see as clear as day.

The line is thin, and so we injected a second syringe of saline after the antibiotic, then a third syringe, this time of heparin to flush the line. This happened forty or so days in a row without a hitch. Now I’m glad we have extras. The antibiotic is gone, but we can play with all this other stuff. It is good to see what we could not see before, to know with our eyes when before we could only take others’ word for what was happening.

We proclaim a reliable prophetic message, and you will do well to attend it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

When Peter wrote his second letter, one memory kept coming back to him, the memory of when he saw Jesus changed on the mountain. This gave him confidence to preach on Pentecost, tell cripples to rise and walk, and stand up strong to become the rock on which Jesus built his church.

On a high mountain in the company of Peter, James and John, Jesus was transfigured. His clothes became dazzling white. Elijah and Moses appeared and spoke with Jesus.

Daniel’s vision come to life, come today, come on the mountain to little old us. Wow! And there is bound to be so much more.

Jesus told his friends not to speak about this until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept quiet, but questioning what Jesus meant by rising from the dead.

(Deuteronomy 7, Psalm 97, 2 Peter 1, Matthew 17, Mark 9)

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