I love the transformation on this mountaintop.
I love it so much but it feels different this year as we wait for what will be.
We are waiting for what will come. We are hoping that transformation will come but it hasn’t. Not quite yet even as we are starting to ask what we will need when this is over-ish. Laura Stephens-Reed offers this wonderful reflection that landed in my email this morning when I was procrastinating on writing prayers. She offers several bits of wisdom but the one that leaped off the screen for me was the need for outside voices to understand what the church will be.
I think we’ve been struggling for years on what the church will be and we have really muddied the water on what we intend as evidenced in Bruce Springsteen praying for unity through a Super Bowl ad. Diana Butler Bass pointed out its many flaws and called us to a better middle. I’m pondering that as I try to find wonder in this present moment where things don’t feel all that different than they did 10 minutes ago.
Call to Worship Inspired by 2 Kings 2:1-12 Stay here. It has been a whirlwind of confusion and wonder but you are here. You are right here in this place where nothing and everything will happen. Stay here. Right here in this very room where life has unfolded is now where God will be. God was always here. God never left. God has always been right here with you. You have wanted to wander. You have wanted to be anywhere but here but stay. Stay and find God is here again.
Maybe this is song or something similar could follow such a prayer. I love it though I admit this is one of those moments I’d rather not sing it in English.
Prayer for the Middle Inspired by Psalm 50:1-6 and Mark 9: 2-9 Mighty One, you called for a new day in the setting and rising of the sun. It was good. It is good. We have been waiting for change to come. There is no high mountain here. We are in our living rooms and our kitchens still. We go for walks but we don't get to climb to new heights. We are not even sure we have the strength but we do not want to stay here. We don't want this to be all there is for we dream of what will be after this is all over. We dare to believe that dazzling things await us. Somehow, we will step out of these dwellings after a year or more transfigured from what we once were, but we are not there yet. We are still in the middle of this pandemic. We are still waiting for the dawn of the new day. O God, show us what change has already come. We pray in your hope. Amen.
I wrote a Transfiguration Communion a few years ago that may also inspire your worship this Sunday. That’s all I’ve got for you this week, dear pastors. I am praying for you. I am praying for you, as always.