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Traveling with God: Week of March 3, 2019

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his deaprture, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah" -- not knowing what he said. While he was saying this a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"


Traveling with God Week of: March 3, 2019

Today is what is known as "Transfiguration Sunday" in many churches. It is based on this passage in which Jesus is up on the mountain, praying, and he becomes transfigured - transformed - into this bright, white, dazzling figure before the disciples very eyes. Then, in an echo of what happened at Jesus' baptism, the voice of God comes from above, naming Jesus as his son, his beloved, and one to whom we should listen. 

I had hoped for another transformation story to take place this past week. In St. Louis, Missouri 864 United Methodists (half clergy/half lay) gathered to determine the future of the church as we relate to people who are LGBTQ+. Many of us hoped and dreamed of a church that would become more inclusive - that would take away restrictions surrounding who can and cannot be married, who can and cannot be ordained - restrictions that deny our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters full participation in the life of the church. I so hoped to see the church transformed into glory and living into a new movement of the Holy Spirit. 

Instead, we got more of the same. We entrenched further into our "traditional" stance, we turned away from hurting people in this world, and we showed many people in the world that the church is exactly what they thought - full of closed minds, closed hearts, and closed doors. I weep for what could have been this week, the transformation we could have seen. 

And yet, I know that God is not done with us yet. The people called Methodist are not defined by this week, just as we wouldn't have been completely defined by this week had it gone the other way - there is a lot of living into the decisions made there that has to happen. And beyond this large body that speaks for the church there are individual churches, pastors and laity who will keep up the fight, who will keep opening their hearts, minds, doors, to all people, full stop. I pray that I will be one of those people, and I pray that if you need it, you will find those people. 


God of all people, we confess that we, your people, and we, your church, have fallen short of your glory. Forgive us our sins - for what we have done and what we have left undone. Help us to be better, to do better, to more fully live into the life that Jesus Christ calls us to. We pray for a movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the church. Amen.