Last Sunday After the Epiphany

Early iconography depicting the Transfiguration of our Lord shows the three disciples on their hands and knees, afraid and vulnerable. Although Peter by this time had acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah, seeing a glimpse of what this acknowledgement actually looks like when breaking into our world pushes him to the ground. It causes fear; it brings humility. For what is the light and beauty of God if it can be fully imagined by the human mind? They gaze upon their friend, as they have over several miles and meals and gatherings before, but this time they are allowed -- even if for a moment -- to peer into a deeper reality of who Jesus actually is, into the realm beyond time and space and the realities which they have known.

The power and beauty of God shone bright before them. And then it all shifts back into the familiar. Soon they are walking with their friend down the mountain. To the places where people will once again come to know the love and kindness of this man, Jesus, who is God.

Last Thursday there was a group of people in the Bloom community cooking food for our guests on Alpha and The Marriage Course, setting up tables, arranging flowers and lighting candles. They chopped vegetables and cooked rice and made everything look perfect for those whom they would be serving that night. And to give an even more complete picture... there was wine and laughter and so much joy as they worked together.

Every Thursday it happens. And I can't help thinking that it may be the most tangible representation of the Church for me in this season. For how do you take the experience of God -- the ones you have in worship or in prayer or when staring at the sky or emerged in the beauty of creation... the times you encounter something that is so outside of our world, but that is infinitely connected to us -- and bring that back into this realm of the tangible? Is it possible for the stuff our our world to contain the infiniteness of God?

But look: "But Jesus came and touched them, saying, 'Get up and do not be afraid.'....  And as they were coming down the mountain...."

He just calls them right back to the work they were doing before they went up the mountain in the first place. Because through people being loved and helped and listened to and healed, we start to see what it looks like when the Transfigured One gets a hold of our temporal reality and does something that makes no sense to us at all... He makes it beautiful; he makes it mean something to the lost and the broken and the forgotten.

So through a simple setting of tables and the serving of a meal on Thursday nights, those that volunteer have seen the beauty and power of God that they have come to know in the deep places of themselves be made manifest in the world around them, in the very things to which they put their hands. And all across the Bloom family, Jesus is being made known to us to and to those whose lives our closely linked with ours because of simple acts that we do -- because Jesus has taken them for himself. In every moment of our lives, he is with us. He is drawing people to himself. In the ordinary. In the seemingly meaningless. And he is showing us and all whom we serve the beauty and the power that is behind it all. I am thankful that we get to be a part of that.

-- David Blankenship