Of change and being changed
The Reverend Michele H. Morgan
February 14th 2021
Last Sunday of Epiphany
Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. Mark 9:2-9
What is it like to change? When was the last time you were changed? When did something happen that you look back on it and say that was the moment that I became _____________? What a beloved, a parent, realized that you were much more liberal than your family, much more conservative. You came out, you found your vocation, you work?
Did it happen in an instant or was in a slow simmer that caught up with you?
I remember the moment that I realized that I would spend my life with another woman if I got lucky and met her, it felt like a momentous occasion at the time, but trust when I told my family it was a slow simmer.
Indeed my family was not shocked when I told them that I was a big ole’ homo, well my Dad did not love that phrase but he did love me.
Our friend Peter was stuck, he saw something amazing, something life-changing…and he could have it change him. The Peter who first spoke up at Pentecost was not there yet, the one who presided over the appointment of Matthus after the suicide of Judas, was not there yet, the Peter who brought the disciples around to the right path, the one who extended the church, the one who extended the church to the uncircumcised, arrested, escaped…not there yet but he was on simmer.
The Peter who was there, the one who denied Jesus, the one who went fishing after Jesus’ death, was the one who suggested that they build three dwellings places for Jesus, Elijah, and Moses. Peter was on a journey with his teacher and he was not ready to make sense of this powerful moment in Jesus’ life and work.
Peter was met with something unbelievable: the presence of two of the heavy hitters of the Jewish faith right there and his buddy, his teacher was glowing with the same essence of these two great men.
This was a moment in Peter changing, of being changed.
This Epiphany we have spent five weeks listening about what it is like to engage our voice in the world, From all five of our preachers we have heard component of advocacy, We are called not only to See the world anew but as our guest preacher Justi pointed out hear the stories a new, Cindy said that each of us will take some kind of action – an action that arises from listening to the impossible-to-ignore political, cultural, and economic needs of today. Patricia Catalano reminded us to “Offer yourself to God, with love and compassion in service to others, and you will be sustained in whatever that is for the long haul.” Joe reminds us that “Perhaps we are being called to recognize that advocacy is less about amplifying our own voices to speak for the silenced and more about amplifying those prophetic voices that for too long have been silenced.”
Mark Nepo said this, “To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To Change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To Journey and to be transformed by the journeying is to be a pilgrim. You have heard the invitation to journey and to be changed by all of us and our relationship to the Washington interfaith network.
We all have the potential for that kind of transformation and we can ignore it or we can embrace it, and face the consequences of giving a new voice into the world. This kind of Change can bring us out of our selfish needs and for many of us it has been on a slow simmer for a long time. We have watched the unfairness of the pandemic, in our country and in the world. We have watched the unrest caused by white supremacy, we have seen the hatred and violence of warring politics. We have watched politicians locked down in their own ways of always doing things and are frightened by the results.
Here is the thing that we need to remember that the need for our personal transformation has always been here because God always believes that we can do it. We are always on a slow simmer if we pay attention if we step up and one day we can look back on it and say that was the moment that I became _____________?