|Image by Thomas Euler|
LC† Living Our Faith - DAY 12
Pray. Read. Worship. Love.
It is you who light my lamp;
the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
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 departure, 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!’ When the voice had spoken,
Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent
and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
The rule of God comes among us to break down the walls of
division that we establish... When God's rule finally comes
over the earth, all of these barriers which we have
established will be gone. You are invited to pray that this
future hope will be your present task. As you pray this
petition, you are asking for grace to see this future reality
as a present reality. This petition invites God's help to live
as agents of reconciliation in today's world... The Scriptures
speak of a time when justice and peace have kissed each
other. As the church prays and works for justice and peace,
the dominion of God is illumined for all to see.
- from Praying the Catechism, by Donald W. Johnson*
A Reflection & Prayer
It is tempting to look at the account of the transfiguration
and see it as a one time event that happened to a few lucky
people. But as we live our baptismal calling to love God and
neighbour, as we seek justice, we reflect the light of Christ
and we are transfigured. I’ve seen it! I’ve seen how small
acts of kindness can light up the faces of those who receive
kindness when they are expecting indifference or
selfishness. I’ve seen whole rooms of faces being lit up with
the light of Christ at youth gatherings, and worship
conferences, and in Sunday worship and at National
Convention as people are overwhelmed with the presence
of the living God. I know that all of you who are reading
this devotion are striving to follow Jesus in your daily living.
May God bless us all so that our words and deeds will
reflect the love of Jesus.
God, you transfigure us through baptismal waters and set us
on a journey to love and serve you by loving and serving the
world. Strengthen and equip us with hearts and hands to
joyfully serve so that others would see your radiance
in our words and deeds. Amen.
- Bishop Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Verse for the Day
O send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me.
|Image by Thomas Euler|
Today’s music returns us to the moment of Epiphany, but our gospel reading tells us the light of the Star guiding the Wise Ones has become the light of the transfigured Jesus. The Transfiguration story is often read in churches on the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday. As this devotional project comes to a close, we are in a sense looking ahead to the coming time of penitent reflection and journeying with Jesus. The ‘light shining in the heavens’ is also the light of Christ that lives inside each one of us as we live into the fullness of our discipleship. As Pastor Johnson shows us, what we pray for is what we are seeking now, not in the future, as “agents of reconciliation in today’s world”. We are building that time when justice and peace come together, in the ways that we care for each other right now. Bishop Johnson invites us to see how when we reflect the light of Christ, we too are transfigured. She invites us to notice all the ways in which that light shines in our own communities through the actions of others. We are called to “joyfully serve” so that the radiant glory of Jesus will be reflected in everything we do. How can you challenge yourself to maintain a discipline of prayer, reading Scripture, worshipping in community and loving others -- pray, read, worship, love -- through acts of service, in the days ahead and until we meet again in Lent? Perhaps by this time in our devotions you have understood which of the four words is the most difficult one for you to meet in your own life. in the coming days, can you challenge yourself to practice trying to deepen your own commitment in that area? What we can learn from the Transfiguration story is that transformation begins with 'God and me'. God meets us, challenges us, loves us, encourages us, and waits for us. God calls us, and God gives us courage for the call. God is present in the endings, in the strange intermediary times of waiting, confusion, anxiety and fear that accompany all transitions and change, and God is there at the new beginnings. God’s love leads us always, by giving us people who will shepherd us through our challenging times, and by inspiring us to be shepherds. God’s love is in you, God’s faithful disciple. How will you express your call today and in the days to come?
This is the last day of this devotional project. Thank you for joining us!
LC† Living Our Faith was written and curated by Bishop Susan C. Johnson and Sherry Coman, with the previously published work of Pastor Donald Johnson. May the light of Epiphany and the light of the transfigured Jesus bless you this day and always. See you in Lent!
LC† Living our Faith is a collaborative project of Lutherans Connect and The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada National Office.
*Excerpts from Praying the Catechism (1995, 1998) by Donald W. Johnson, reproduced by permission of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for permission to quote other content writing
and to be on our mailing list for other devotional projects. Blessings and peace!