Reflection for 11th February on transfiguration and the church.

God is the Lord of abundance, he forgives us freely and pours out his grace into creation. He himself comes to us and in Jesus takes creation into himself. Jesus becoming man, reveals that all things are spiritual, not in the sense of being sacred for us to worship, but in the sense that all things matter. Everything has its being in him and he becomes human. All things are held together in Christ and in him, from the beginning, there is an outpouring of grace and a call to love.
The begottenness of the Son is revealed in Jesus. What it is to be begotten of the Father from the beginning is made plain in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. He is the Christ. In his death and resurrection, we find life. This life is a life of love.
The fall of humanity in Adam was in his choosing not loving. The outcome was to know good and evil and to be cast out from walking in the light of God’s love. We do well to remember that all our choices are veiled in sin- none of our choices are pure, yet God in every moment presents his will. He does not remain silent. God’s gift in the beloved Son, is the revelation that we can walk in his light, not the law. Our pattern and guide is love; Jesus’ belovedness; love beyond our reason.
Jesus showed that the way was himself, he was the truth and the light. In searching for the Holy we find him. We find him where love is most needed, amongst the poor in spirit. We find him in a peace beyond understanding which is the light of his love.
Jesus is the only way to the Father. Jesus, not the law, not reason, not morality. We trust God in his goodness. We trust God in Jesus; creator, born, crucified and the living one. God will shine his light into the darkness in the glory of the revelation of the face of Jesus Christ. He will make good his promise and all will be made good in Christ. It is not done through places or religious systems but in him.
Salvation is in the person of Christ. Jesus is the end of all religion. From the moment of his birth all things were revealed to be spiritual. All things are sacred and Christ alone reveals why this is true. Jesus is the truth.
We are together in this; one body for the revelation of the salvation of the world. What Christ has achieved on the cross is greater than what happened at the fall of Adam. God is a God of abundance and it is in forgiveness that Jesus is revealed to us.
How are we then to be? Isn’t this a recipe for anarchy? How are we to live bathed in the knowledge of good and evil and bound to it in society? Jesus gives us freedom through the Holy Spirit to discern what is right. In close fellowship with Jesus we are transfigured and become new creations. We know the truth and the truth sets us free. We know the voice of the shepherd.
Jesus calls us to a body- he calls us to be a small flock. He himself spoke to crowds of thousands but gathered to himself no more than seventy disciples. At the core of this community he gathered twelve. In the twos and threes he makes his presence known and brings all to true humanity. All were gifted, none were priests. All had gifts to bring the flock to maturity. This was the pattern of Jesus’ ministry and the apostles’ teaching. As the thousands came to faith the church grew around the tables of homes. This was not a religion; indeed early Christians were considered atheists.
Jesus followers didn’t look to a mountain or a city they looked to Jesus as Jesus told them to. We must do as he says. The tragedy of history is that to gather thousands, to build Christendom, there had to be control, a law; a setting out of a pattern for deciding and ruling the people; a uniformity of days and hierarchy of authority. This is bathed in the sin of Adam.
Jesus tells us that those who would lead must be slaves. Jesus came to destroy sin and the truth is, the presence of Christ, Jesus tells us, is in the twos and threes gathered together in the way, truth and life of Jesus. This is the offence of Christianity that flies in the face of Christendom, which would build booths rather than worship in spirit and truth.
This is the new atheism I am drawn to- a denial of the gods of religion who veil the truth. The god of this world is defeated on the cross and we are to remove the veil that covers the eyes of those who are perishing through the love of Jesus and listening to what he tells us to do.

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