This Sunday we have very special guests, Bishop Yambasu and his wife Millicent from Sierra Leone. Bishop Yambasu will be preaching and his text for the day is the story of the transfiguration. This is the story of Jesus going up on a mountain to pray. And as he is praying, Peter, James and John notice he is being visibly changed, lit from the inside, seeming to glow. As if that’s not enough, Moses and Elijah appear too. And then, the voice of God speaks, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” And after all of that, Jesus goes down the mountain, followed by Peter, James, and John, and back to the work of ministry.
Sometimes following Jesus takes us to the mountaintops, to rich experiences of joy, light and holy transformation. Sometimes it takes us into the darkness, to the depths of despair and even into the valley of the shadow of death. And sometimes, it takes us right back to the ordinary, to the sick waiting to be healed, the hungry waiting to be fed, the poor waiting for a word of hope.
After General Conference and the countless responses and uncertainty that lies ahead, I think there is something particular meaningful in Bishop Yambasu’s visit and especially in the opportunity for he and I to serve communion together. In the story of transfiguration we are reminded the power of God to name us, claim us, change us and send us back to the work at hand. And at the communion table, we are reminded of the precious gift of grace, Jesus himself saying, “This is my body, my blood, my life and love, given for you.” This gift is offered to all, conservatives, progressives, young, seasoned, spiritual seekers, wise mentors, faithful disciples. This feast is for the curious, the certain, the doubtful, the down-right cynical, the hurting, the hopeless, the joyful, the lost and the found. This feast, this holy gift of love and grace is for you and for me. “Given for you…”
Whatever you’re feeling about General Conference, your week, your life, your faith, your church, come and feast together. Come and sing the songs of our faith. Come receive the gift of grace, given freely for you. Come and pour your heart out in prayer and be surrounded by fellow wanders on the way, disciples of Jesus. Come hear Bishop Yambasu and meet his wife Millicent. Come and worship.
I’ll see you on Sunday,