Tag Archives: feeding of the 5000

All for transformation

Reading
Matthew 17.1–9

The new heavens and the new earth are not replacements for the old ones; they are transfigurations of them. The redeemed order is not the created order forsaken; it is the created order—all of it—raised and glorified. Robert Farrar Capon, Kingdom, Grace Judgment: Paradox, Outrage and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus

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My wife and I are very fortunate in that we live by the river. Every day, as I leave the house I see it. We live on a bend in the river, and we see the gentle flow of the water, and often there are pelicans on the river and flocks of cockatoos.

Quite often, I get surprised that I live in such a lovely spot. I seem to forget after a night’s sleep. So I might step out of the house, and I am once more surprised and amazed by the river’s beauty.

Sometimes, I it moves me so much that I am transfixed. I have to stand still and gaze, or walk over the road so I can be closer to the river. Being transfixed is not the same as being to transformed, even transfigured; but I think it may be the first step.

Beauty can do that to you.

On other days, I just leave the house, get in my car and drive without a second glance. What makes the difference? Is there something different about the river—perhaps the light plays on it in a way that catches my attention? Or is there something different about me on the days I pause, maybe I’m in a mood to be amazed?

Or possibly it may be both the river and me? Perhaps sometimes it is.

When Jesus takes the disciples up the mountain, they see a vision of him transfigured and they are afraid. At least that’s what happened there and then. But I wonder what happens deeper in someone’s heart and soul when this happens? I wonder if the disciples were now taking baby steps on the road to their own transfiguration?

Because that’s what the Transfiguration is ultimately all about: the disciples being transfigured. ‘Transfiguration’ is about our transformation into the people God made us to be. Our transfiguration into being God’s children, bearing the image of Jesus Christ.

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Striving in the midst of plenty (Year A, Sunday 18, 31 July 2011)

Readings
Genesis 32.22-31
Matthew 11.13-21

 

Do we live in a world of scarcity, or a world of plenty? It seems that human beings have always felt we live in a world where resources are scarce. From the beginning, we have fought one another to gain advantage. One of the most vivid examples of this is found in the first chapters of Genesis. In this story of human beginnings, Cain kills his younger brother Abel because God favours him. As far as Cain is concerned, God’s favour is a scarce commodity. If he can’t have it, no one can.

The Book of Genesis is full of stories of brothers fighting. Today, we heard the story of Jacob wrestling with…who? With a man? An angel? God?

Jacob was on his way to meet his older brother, Esau, the one he’d done out of his inheritance. Esau was heading his way with four hundred men. Jacob was quite aware of what those four hundred men were capable of, and he was mightily afraid of what they might do.

Jacob’s attitude seems to have been There ain’t no room in this family for the both of us… So he’d diddled Esau. Now, he was going to face the consequences—but God intervened.

Jacob came out of his encounter with God with a limp. He was never the same again, but if you asked him I think he’d say the limp was a blessing. As we said last week, ‘All things work together for good for those who are called according to God’s purpose’. All things. Including that terrible night when Jacob didn’t know whether he would live or die. Continue reading

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