I am leading worship at our church this Sunday, Transfiguration Sunday in the liturgical calendar, and I’m not really ready. To be honest, other than the bulletin material which was due Tuesday and having read the text and thought about it some, I’m totally unprepared. So there sits that blinking cursor at the start of a Word document. The trick is to get that first word or sentence typed in, even if we may erase it soon after in favour of a better turn of phrase, or a more valid point. Once started in the actual writing something will be on the page and you can go on from there.
As for my sermon for this week, I was pretty sure I was going to focus on the location of Moses’ and Jesus/apostles interactions with God. You know, “location, location, location!” Why did all these things happen at the top of mountains? Were these mountains like the Rockies or the Himalayas or more like the Appalachian Mountains in New Brunswick which look more like hills? Are we still supposed to be going to the mountains, and where are they?
A couple of days ago a friend of mine who is a United Church minister was on Facebook looking for brainstorming ideas for Transfiguration Sunday. It was interesting to see the ideas that came in. The focus was largely on the transfiguration itself, what it would be like etc. My friend is planning to focus on the fact that you are never the same after, when you come down off the mountain. There followed, for me, a period of second-guessing. Afterall, my idea was quite a different focus from those of others who are ordained…you get the drift I’m sure.
No one will know for sure what I will say until Sunday morning, and you would all be most welcome to come (St. James Presbyterian, 1991 Hanwell Rd, Fredericton, N.B. Canada). I do think I will go with my first instinct though, however it may end up. Historically, people felt they needed to go to high places to get closer to God. The Mesopotamians worshiped at ziggurats, man-made mountains, Mount Olympus is the mount of the Gods in Greece. The thing is, things changed forever when God entered into our world as a human child. Figuratively speaking, he came down the mountain to us and remains with us through the Holy Spirit. We don’t need to go to a high place in order to experience the glory of God, we may need a quiet place, or for some of us a worship space, but God has come down to us once and for all!