Thoughts from Fr. Marshall - All Saints Episcopal Church
I wrote most of this several weeks ago but for some reason it did not post. I will try again.

On the last Sunday After the Epiphany each year we read the lesson about the transfiguration of the Lord. There he is up on the mountain, accompanied by a few of the boys, and he is caught up in glory between Moses and Elijah. He is shown to be the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.

Soon, he will be lifted up on a hill again, the next time between two thieves and though his glory will not be shone in the same way His crucifixion is the ultimate epiphany for which he came and for which he prepared his followers. It is the epiphany that these two thousand plus years later we are still trying to grow into.

Dear Peter rushes forward at this glorious epiphany to proclaim how good it is that he and his buddies are there to see this glory and to propose the building of three shrines to mark the spot and the event. He does not yet fully understand.

The good news about Peter is that he lived to grow into the epiphany of the cross. He lived beyond his denial that is contrasted with his three time declaration of love and he live to embrace even  his own death on a cross with a humility and willingness that I, at least, can hardly imagine.

There is within the system of insight and understanding which we call Christian such a richness and joy! It resonates with all good, truth and beauty and needs never to be defined over and against other attempts to convey love, grace and truth. Our job, like Peter's, is not to enshrine our religion in stone but to incarnate it in our own bodies and express it in our own lives. This is the transfiguration we are called to, this is the glory we are intended to be an epiphany of in the world.

On the Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, we embrace humility (humus--our earth element) by having our heads marked with ashes and our minds and hearts reminded of our nature. On our own we simply return to the dust from which we were formed; "Remember that thou art dust and unto dust shalt thou return." But! we are not on our own, we like Peter are not our mistakes and limitation. We too are being transformed more and more into his very image. We too are part of the new creation prepared for by the law and the prophets.

It is good indeed that we are here and that this light of Epiphany is here and has dawned in our lives. May our Lenten discipline cleanse us and prepare us for the glory that is to come.

Love and Light,
Lewis Marshall

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