The God In Me-Meaning US

Grace and Peace to you,

My sisters and brothers in Christ

“Listen to Him!”

Listen to the One who Transforms US

As we are transfigured, seeing almost for the first time

The One who will sacrifice His Life,

For US

Binding US to the community

And to the Creator God

Amen.

 One of these stories is definitely not like the other

Clearly in our Gospel this morning

And yet, strangely enough

They do mesh

Because how could the people of God

Profess to those who perhaps, do not know

Or understand

This Way,

This Truth

This Man who brings Life to ALL

How could the disciples evangelize

about the transforming power of the Creator God

If they still hid behind a veil of obliviousness

Why does it seem as if we are there behind that veil with them?

(pause)

Each moment that we are in the midst of the wider community

Is an opportunity for us to invite into this sacred space

Our fellow brothers and sisters

For a moment of worship,

Not because of a requirement,

But an escape from the restraints

From the chaos that seeps like a bitter cold into our bones

That mountaintop experience

Of knowing that this place,

Was the one place,

You were beloved

You were human

Dr. James Cone, a theologian and father of Black Liberation Theology

in his most recent work

The Cross and the Lynching Tree

Shares the stories of people of African Descent

And the mountaintop experience they had every Sunday

He quotes the author Richard Wright stating,

That church was the only place,

Where “we retain our wholeness and humanity,

Despite the blows of death.”

Where in the church,

That was the only place

That People of African Descent

Could wholly be themselves,

Where their voices mattered

And where their names, and faces,

And bodies were just as sacred

As the cross which hung above them,

As the One who suffered just as they suffered

A place where,

They were not afraid to release and exhale the Holy Spirit

Because

They felt

THEY KNEW

The presence of Jesus Christ

Was before them

THEY KNEW

That they could run to Jesus

(pause)

Isn’t this the place where we too,

Should be able to be who God created us to be?

Should be able to run to Jesus?

Because this is the place where we are wanted

Included

Uplifted?

(pause)

Isn’t this where

We as sisters and brothers in Christ

Are also in that quiet communion with God?

Shouldn’t this be the place

Where we too,

Run from the oppressiveness of this fragmented world

Rest from the feeling where we are made to feel like a motherless child

Escape from the horrible sounds of viciousness beating down

Beating upon those children of God

Isn’t this the place we stand in awe,

Just as on this mountaintop

Where Jesus Christ speaks with Moses, who brought the law

And Elijah, who spoke the power of prophecy

In the midst of this small community of faithful

Peter, John and James

To witness the Glory of God!

Which no doubt should have transformed these disciples

Cementing their faith in Jesus Christ

Or would it?

(pause)

Being exposed to a place where there is peace

Joy immersed in our very being

Love among God’s People

Power in the Blood

Celebration of the common bond we have with one another

Embedded in our worship,

Should make our hearts sing

And our bodies move

Out into the streets

And makes those who pass by us wonder

“What’s going on in that church over there?

Because the people there, their faces shine

As if they have seen the face of the Most High!”

But,

If we are not open

Taking a risk

Allowing worship to wash away everything that this world heaps on us,

If we are stubborn with our praise of happiness

With our prayers of weeping

With allowing worship to release us

With song to carve down deep within us that place where God dwells

To be the transformative vehicle that takes us

If we come with a spirit of obligation

Than a spirit of jubilation

Or supplication

How they can we proclaim the power that is rooted in our liturgy

In the power of the ritual of reflection

And connection

Through prayer?

(pause)

We profess our faith

In the words of the Apostles Creed

That we believe in the Holy Spirit,

But what does that mean?

Is the Holy Spirit an abstract after thought

Locked away in a box,

That is only taken down for Pentecost

And Holy Week

And Easter?

Or does the presence of the Holy Spirit

Rips our hearts free,

So much so

We find ourselves

Babbling

Confused

Like Peter in our Gospel this morning

(pause)

“LISTEN TO HIM”

Isn’t it confirmation to hear this voice,

The Creator’s voice shakes those

In this community gathering

That there is work to be done

And at the same time,

Opening of their hearts

Silently

This is how the Creator would meet them at the crossroads

Awaiting a moment of metamorphosis

(pause)

Or maybe that submersion into the supernatural was too much-

Witnessing the transfiguration,

Seeing the CLEAR ANSWER from the Creator God

Jesus Christ, Period

No veil,

No punches pulled

It is the Great I AM

(pause)

And yet, these disciples fail

There are moments in our lives when the Creator will clearly speak to us

Through a simple meal at a table

Perhaps we can only offer rice and peas

Or black eyed beans and rice

Or gumbo

Dishes scrape and created in poverty

to feed those who were poorer than you

Hurting more than you,

Because the world as a predator

is picking on our sisters and brothers in Faith,

In Love

Snatching them up and dashing them against rocks

Grabbing us up and shaking the sacred life out of us

This world as a beast who roams and consumes and leaves nothing,

Until we are forced to consume a spirit of despair

Untilour sisters and brothers have stapled to their very being

this cruel, repressive spirit preying on them

crowding out those places of light within us

Until we all are so lost

That we don’t know who we are,

And whose we are,

And those that love us RUN to Jesus,

Pleading

Begging

Crying out

“Teacher, I beg of you,

These are only children

The malicious spirit in this ruined world mauls at them”

(pause)

How can we confess that we are followers of Jesus Christ,

If we only leave the Triune God

On a smooth shelf

In an ornate box

For one day,

And forget

That through THIS MEAL,

RIGHT HERE

There is POWER

There is MERCY

There is GRACE

Because we heard about God’s GLORY

HERE,

In the Gospels,

In the stories

In oral stories of our testimonies,

YES-When has God impacted YOUR LIFE?

When has God made God’s Presence KNOWN in your daily walk?

When has the Gospel caused you to want to do SOMETHING

So much so you are drawn to people and places you never imagined?

What does God whisper to you,

When you are alone,

With your StarWord-you all still have them, right?

My StarWord? AFFIRMNG

And that has been my journey all along,

And still continues to be

And I stand in awe

Of seeing God before me

And hearing God’s Voice

“LISTEN TO HIM”

LISTEN!

Do you hear God calling us,

To follow the One who has the power

To shatter chains

And bring back to life,

Those whom the demonic,

The negativity

The darkness of this world attempts to control and destroy?

I say attempt,

Because we know

WE BELONG TO GOD.

(pause)

Transfiguration is not Jesus suddenly being transformed-

BUT US,

US BELOVED

So we can go on this Lenten journey,

Knowing we are never, ever alone

Thanks Be to God

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