web analytics

Reflect on Transfiguration Sunday (Sunday before Lent)

Transfiguration Icon
Transfiguration Icon

Whilst February 22 Roman Catholics, New Zealand Anglicans and others will be reading Mark 2:1-12 etc., those following the Revised Common Lectionary will generally be celebrating the Transfiguration with the following readings.

Mark 9:2-9

This describes an altered state of consciousness understood and experienced in 90% of cultures studied by anthropologists, but blocked in the contemporary, secular, materialististic Western culture, where we deny and fear that which we cannot control. Some scholars see this as a resurrection story projected back into Jesus’ life, others describe it as “eschatological” – a “preview of coming attractions”. Jesus is there with the great lawgiver and the great prophet. Mountan, witnesses, signs, and shared experience are common to similar biblical theophanies (Exodus 19-20; 34; 1 Kings 19:4-18). Jesus’ sonship, declared in Mark 1:1, and 1:11 is re-arffirmed here at the centre of the gospel – this will lead to its declaration at the end by the centurion. This underscores the nature of Jesus’ group (kin-like), his mission, and the challenge to be loyal to him.

Please add your insights, reflections, sermon suggestions, hymn suggestions – anything positive and useful (even layout and web organisational ideas) – in the comments box. I will choose to publish from what is sent here. Do not send anonymous comments. You can follow comments (and posts) by the Entries Feed and Comments Feed at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget: each week I also publish a reflection on the collect/opening prayer.

Similar Posts:

5 thoughts on “Reflect on Transfiguration Sunday (Sunday before Lent)”

  1. While I certainly agree that Western culture, with all its secular materialistic and naturalistic bent, has no categories for an event such as the Transfiguration, I would take exception with calling it merely an “altered state of consciousness.” I would also steer clear of reading back a resurrection story into the account and would understand it, instead, as an eschatological event.

    The Transfiguration, I think, is Jesus in his glory providing a sneak preview of the Kingdom to come…the Kingdom which began breaking in at his incarnation and will ultimately be revealed in toto at his return. As such, it is totally miraculous and other-worldly, incapable of being explained away as a purely naturalistic phenomenon. The Transfiguration, like God, is something beyond our control and total understanding, an event worthy of our contemplation and adoration!

    I’m not sure how familiar it may be in NZ (I assume it is very familiar), but our congregations in the States often sing “Alleluia, Song of Gladness” on Transfiguration Sunday as we say ‘farewell’ to the Alleluias until Easter morning.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment. May Christ continue to richly bless you!


  2. In our church I am rostered on tyis week for the Prayers which I like to differ a bit by putting them in prose form. I haven’t completed them yet but have commenced with the following:-

    As Jesus Christ was so transfigured
    Help us be so transformed
    that God’s Holy Spirit in us
    shines out through us, unadorned.
    Help us live lives that are worthy
    of the price our Lord paid
    When He laid his life down for us
    alone, rejected and afraid.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.