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