“O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” - Collect for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany
I remember hearing the expression that the spiritual journey is “an inch long and a mile deep.” At the heart of this message is an invitation: try to be radically present and open yourself deeply to God’s invitation which will allow the transformative power of rooting yourself more deeply in God’s love.
That may sound abstract if we aren’t aware of spiritual practices that facilitate the deepening process of relying on God. How do we pray? How do we read the Bible? How do the sacraments of the church facilitate the deepening of our discipleship? What community fellowship and support are necessary to support us?
As we prepare to enter the season of Lent, we end with a mountain-top moment in scripture when Jesus is transfigured before his disciples (Mark 9:2-9). Peter, like many of us, thinks staying on the mountain top might be the best response to such a sign. As wonderful as those mountain-top moments are, they don’t last – at some point we come down. What is interesting in the passage from Mark is that Jesus tells them not to tell anyone about what they’ve seen. Because they don’t know the fullness of his glory yet, they need to experience the richness of what Jesus must teach them, including the cross and resurrection. This is part of the invitation for our own observance of Lent. Rather than rushing to Easter, we are invited to go more deeply into the fullness of Christ’s witness to us and the light it brings to the world.
It is appropriate then, before we enter this season of preparation, to gather with one another and hear the insights from our Spiritual Life Inventory that we took in the fall. We had a wonderful response, and our RenewalWorks team has done excellent work processing the insights that we gleaned from those responses.
Our vestry spent its retreat time reflecting on the work of that group and imagining how that might enrich the spiritual lives of our community. We are in a healthy and strong place to commit to a journey of deepening discipleship. We have what we need to commit to one another and to ourselves for a journey of transformation. Much of that work has happened since our founding in 1858 with the countless faithful people who have come before us. What we have now is an opportunity to recommit in an intentional way to support our own spiritual growth and transformation, so that we can bear that light into the world.
Join me and our senior warden, George Spencer, on Sunday morning at 10:10 in Gish Hall. We will share an update and invite your participation in this journey. We trust it is a life-giving and deeply meaningful invitation for all of us!
Peace, Beth +