“Bloom with Vision: Wings” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

February 11th,2021 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

I hope that this week finds you warm and well. This week I went to the church for the first time in a year to build our bloom bags and I said a prayer for this community that you would all continue to feel the presence of God through the love of this community even though we are apart. If you did not get your Bloom Bag or if you did not email Stephanie Wilson, please do so today. This coming Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday and Valentine’s Day and we hope that you will celebrate with us, the love of God inbreaking to this world, at our 11am worship. We also want to make sure that on your calendar is Ash Wednesday. Join us for a time of worship at 6pm next Wednesday. Make sure to open your bloom bag that morning as well, as it contains your ashes.

This week as I mentioned is the Transfiguration. It is a text that I have studied and wrestled with every year. I’m not sure why this text is one that I struggle with. Possibly because I often see myself as Peter in that situation- trying to make sense of what God is showing me, rather than leaning into the awe of it all. Who do you see yourself as in this gathering of timeless prophets and teachers?

Let’s read together from the Gospel according to Mark.

“2 Six days after that, Jesus took Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone.
And there Jesus was transfigured before their eyes; 3 the clothes Jesus wore became dazzlingly white—whiter than any earthly bleach could make them.
4 Elijah appeared to them, as did Moses, and the two were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter spoke to Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “how wonderful it is for us to be here! Let us make three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah!” 6 Peter did not know what he was saying, so overcome were they all with awe.
7 Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them; and there came a voice from out of the cloud: “This is my Beloved, my Own; listen to this One.” 8 Then suddenly, when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore—only Jesus.
(Mark 9:2-8)

I get Peter’s immediate reaction to look around and think “well here is where we break ground to remember this day! People are going to want to come to this place and experience all that Jesus, Moses and Elijah have to offer us. To remember the timelessness of our faith in this gathering of our teachers, prophets, and savior.” I want to find ways to hold on to the things that amaze me, too.

It’s why we have church buildings and digital worship spaces. We gather together to remember and worship the specialness that is and was and is to come in Jesus the Christ. And I’m not trying to say that these spaces go against the work of Jesus. I mean to remind us that these places are not the only spaces where these moments happen. To think so is to try and capture and keep and hold onto the Gospel.

But today’s scripture reminds us what we continue to forget,
and that is  –
The Gospel does not dwell.

Friends, The Gospel is a call to move with God through love and justice. So, may this day of transfiguration be a reminder that our commitment to Jesus is a commitment to give the Gospel – the love of Jesus Christ – wings rather than a place to dwell.

Shalom Yall,

Rev. Stephanie

A quick prayer for your week: O Lord, may your love take flight with every word I speak and every action I take. Amen