Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed

Life is short

Luke 9:28-36 NRSV

One day, mama called me to tell me that her favorite first cousin had passed away.  He was only 63.  I then shared with her that I had just received news that a good friend who was in my class from college died very suddenly that week. I then proceeded to offer my sincere empathy.

It was then that mama started preaching as only my mama can.  There is never any sugar-coating with mama. It is always and only the truth and that truth comes at you so hard, sometimes is like getting hit upside the head!

Mama said, “Jarrett, your life could end any day just like that.”

I then heard this clicking sound. I said, “Mama, what is that.”

She said, “That was me snapping my fingers.”

“Jarrett, life is just a vapor, so you better be sure they make the most the little time you have left.”

As much as it pains me to admit it, the truth is, mama could not be more right.  She always speaks the truth whether or not she thinks I can handle the truth. This journey, this trip, this ride we call life is a relatively short one. And it would be a shame for any of us to miss it.

A preacher tells a story of sitting on airplane waiting to take off.  His seat number was 14D. The woman next to him sat in 14E.  No two seat mates could have ever been more different.

From her dress you could tell she was far from sophisticated. His finely pressed suit and shining shoes reflected affluence and sophistication. From her talk you could tell she was but a simple country woman.

He sat there beside her with his leather brief case and laptop computer.  She was surrounded by all kinds sacks and bundles.

It was obvious that she hadn’t had much experience with flying. “I don’t do this much,” she grinned. “Do you?”

He politely nodded a “yes.”

“Well, aren’t you lucky, that must be a lot of fun,”  She said.

He groaned—for he knew that it was going to be a long flight.

She volunteered that she was going to Dallas to see her son. And she filled in all the blanks—the boy has had the flu, a stomach virus really.  He’s had stomach problems every since he was a baby.  He has a back lab. The dog’s name was Wilbur. Wilbur is such a good dog. A little hand-full when he was a puppy, but now a lot calmer. As the plane climbed, she looked and pointed out the window. “Ooooooh—would you look at those trees down there; they look just like peat moss.”

People turned around in their seats and stared.  The preacher next to her wanted to crawl under his seat.

The flight attendant came by asking what they’d like to drink.  He quietly asked for a coffee.  His seat mate asked a second time about the choices. “Now tell me again what you’ve got.”

When her drink came she said she didn’t know that apple juice came in cans, but it sure was delicious. “I thought it only came in a great big jug.  I wonder if they got these little cans at the Winn-Dixie.”

And when the sandwich came by she said in way too loud a voice: “Why there’s even a little packet of mayonnaise in here.  Isn’t that cute?”

This went on the whole flight. The little woman did not miss a thing.

The preacher said that the men in front of them were discussing a business trip to Japan. The fellow behind them must have been a nervous wreck for he kept ordering two beers at a time. The woman across the aisle had important-looking papers stacked all around her. And as he opened his laptop and began to work, it occurred to him that the only person on the whole plane who was truly enjoying the trip was the crazy woman sitting next to him.

When the plane finally landed, she turned and said, “Now wasn’t that a fun trip?”  And as he watched her head down the aisle and leave the plane, he began to wonder: What was it that she had that he didn’t have?  What was it that she knew that he didn’t know?  Why had she enjoyed the whole trip from beginning to end while he was absolutely miserable?

Jesus took three disciples up to the top of a mountain. It was the midpoint in Jesus’ journey. The clouds were hanging over his ministry. The Pharisees and Saducees were making it increasingly difficult for him.  His disciples were constantly bickering with one another. Jesus was beginning to talk to them about suffering, Jerusalem and the cross. He talked about saving one’s life by losing it. He talked about dying to self to live forever.  And the disciples didn’t really understand any of it.

And then Jesus took Peter, James and John to very top of a high mountain, and there on the mountaintop something happened.  We’re not sure what occurred, but they called it transfiguration, which means transformation, change, metamorphosis. They began to see things that they had never before seen; more importantly, they began to see Jesus in a way that they had had never before seen.  Even Jesus’ clothes were transformed.

Then God spoke, saying, just as he did at Jesus’ baptism: “This is my son, the beloved…Listen to him.”  Listen.

This encounter turned the disciples inside out. It changed their lives and they were never quite the same again.

Now, you may be wondering what this story of Jesus has to do with the woman and the preacher on the airplane.  The answer is: Absolutely everything.

Roger Lovette has said that there comes a time when all of us need to disengage. From time to time all of us need to stop, look and listen.  We need to quit doing and just be. That’s very difficult for most of us living in the 21st century. For most of us believe we always gotta be busy doing something.

Robert Fulghum tells about a woman who was so stressed out she went to see a psychiatrist. After listening to her for a long time, he wrote out a prescription and handed it to her. She read the words the doctor had written: “Spend one hour on Sunday watching the sunrise while walking in the cemetery.”  Against her better judgment she followed the advice. One Sunday morning, as the sun came up, she stood in a cemetery, listening to the birds and watching the world come alive all around her. On that morning, she found herself back in touch with her life again.

We need to open our eyes to truly see the miracle of this wonderful journey we call life. On her journey, the woman on the plane saw. And the preacher sitting beside her missed the whole experience.

2 Peter 1:16 reads: “We have been eyewitnesses to majesty.”  What a wonderful thing to say about the Church!  One paraphrase says: You do well to pay attention. For when we pay attention, everything changes.  We may see things that we’ve never seen before.

Frederick Buechner has said in one of my favorite quotes:

if you really keep your eyes peeled to it and your ears open, if you really pay attention to it, even in the most limited situations, God through life itself has something to teach you.”  “Taking your children to school.  Kissing your wife goodbye.  Eating lunch with a friend.  Trying to do a decent day’s work.  Hearing the rain patter against the window. There is no event so commonplace that God is not present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving room to recognize him or not to recognize him, but all the more fascinatingly because of that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly.

Buechner continues:

If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say as a novelist and a preacher it would be something like this: Listen to your life.  See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.  In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness:  touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis, all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.

When we pay attention to life, everything changes. We are given a brand new perspective. The transfiguration text says that when it was all over the disciples saw only Jesus.  The disciples were able to see the big picture. They remembered God had said, “This is my beloved Son.”  Thus, even when Jesus suffered, they would later understand that God was in it.  Even if it did not work out the way they thought it would—God was in it.  Not causing the pain, not willing the suffering, but present, working in it, transforming it, changing it, resurrecting it.

Very slowly they began to see this was a large thing, —this Jesus, this thing called discipleship, this thing called the church, this glorious thing called life.  And it was all sheer grace—unmerited, undeserved.  And everything changed.

Before I started running with Ainsley’s Angels, I would play golf with a group of retired men from my church. Most were in their mid to late-seventies, some in their eighties. One was ninety.

One sunny morning, as I walked up to join the group at the tee box, I remember making as casual remark: “It sure is a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

One of the men said, “Preacher, every day I wake up is a beautiful day.”  The other retired gents were quick to respond by saying, “Amen.”

Like the woman on the plane, the woman in the cemetery and the disciples on the mountain, those retired golfers saw it, they saw it.  My prayer is that all of us will be able to see it too. May we take some time to stop, look, and listen. May we slow down and pay attention. Open our eyes to see the sheer grace of it all. And then thank God for it. And live our lives being eternally grateful for it. Taking nothing for granted.

Life is short.  Life is a vapor. Our lives are going to be over before we know it.  Just like that (snap fingers).  I pray that none of us miss it.

A Transfigured Church

Barrett Finish FS

Mark 9:2-9 NRSV

33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ 34But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ 36Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

Here, we find the disciples arguing with one another about which one of them was the greatest.

And who could blame them? For it is in this same chapter that we witness Peter, James and John had just witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus. They watched as the appearance of Jesus, his face, even his clothes transformed before them. Mark uses the word “dazzling” to describe the scene.

So, of course they are arguing about greatness. For they too wanted some glory. They too wanted to “dazzle” the world. They wanted to be great.

But what does it mean to be a great disciple of Christ? What does it mean to be a great church?

Well, we really do not have to ask, do we?  For all we have to do is listen, and we will hear countless voices from our culture telling us exactly what we need to do in order to be great.

Do you want to be a great church?

As the pastor, don’t ever be too real. Don’t let people know that you are a sinner. Don’t let it slip out that you sometimes have doubts. Make them believe that since Jesus came into your heart you no longer struggle, you never question your faith, and you have all of the answers.

Do you want to be a great church?

Don’t make people think too much. Don’t give them too much to ponder. Don’t make them question those things they have always believed. Don’t ever challenge them. Allow folks to check their brains in the logia. Tell them exactly what they need to believe to be a good Christian. Keep it simple. Make it black and white.

Do you want to be a great church?

Make church a little more entertaining. Do you really need to have communion every Sunday? That’s a lot of work. And besides, come on, no one wants to hear about sacrifice, shed blood and a broken body every Sunday! Trade the bread and juice for some coffee and doughnuts, or, on special Sundays, some biscuits with gravy. Make church a little more fun.

Forget about this Ash Wednesday thing. No one wants to talk about sin and mortality.

Do you want to be a great church?

Just skip the whole season of Lent and jump straight to Easter.

Do you want to be a great church?

Don’t ever criticize or challenge folks inside the church to change. Instead, criticize folks outside the church for they are the ones who really need to change. Create a “we-verses-those” mentality, an “insider-verses-outsider” way of thinking. And remind the congregation every Sunday that we are “in,” and those who disagree with us are “out.” Make them feel righteous, holy, superior, knowing that while we are on their way to heaven, those who are unlike us are on their way to hell.

Do you want to be a great church?

Look, it’s fine to welcome all people to church. And I guess it is ok to say that all means all. But you don’t have to say it every Sunday! Don’t over-emphasize it. Don’t over-broadcast it, because that is only going to attract those who are bad for business.

And don’t use words like “inclusion” and “diversity” so much. Because, the truth is, we like to be with folks who think like us, act like us and look like us.

Do you want to be a great church?

Don’t let babies, small children, or folks with disabilities disrupt the service. And don’t talk about helping the poor so much. Don’t talk so much about helping the marginalized of society so often. Because, if word gets out, you know what will happen. They will take advantage of us. They will use us until all of our funds run dry!

Do you want to be a great church?

Have more programs that are uplifting and edifying for the members. Don’t you know that people come to church to be spiritually fed. So keep everyone filled, satisfied, happy and comfortable. Don’t pressure members to do things that are outside of their comfort zones like sitting like sharing a meal at the same table with the homeless; developing a close friendship with a self-proclaimed atheist or a person of another faith; volunteering at a prison or regularly visiting nursing homes.

Do you want to be a great church?

Preach what is popular. Embrace the culture over the Word of God. Instead of preaching extravagant grace, preach “love the sinner and hate the sin.” Instead of preaching social justice, preach “God only helps those who are willing to help themselves.”

Then Jesus comes, and he asks:

“What are you talking about?”

We are silent.

But Jesus heard us. Jesus always hears his disciples.

It is then that Jesus goes into the nursery and brings out a little baby; and taking the child in his arms, he says:

“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me” (Luke 9:47-48).

In other words, Jesus said:

“Stop worrying about being a great church and start worrying about the least. And when you do that, when you take care of those who cannot care for themselves, when you feed those who cannot feed themselves, when you clothe those who cannot clothe themselves, when you welcome those who usually feel unwelcomed, especially by organized religion, then you will be welcomed, and you will be blessed by the one who sent me. And like me standing on that mountain, you will be transformed, and you will be transfigured.”

Holding that baby in his arms, it is as if Jesus is asking: “Do you want to dazzle the world? Do you want to be transformed and transfigured as you saw me standing with the prophet Elijah and the law-giver Moses? Then listen to my voice and listen to the voices from the law and the prophets.”

Jesus is saying remember the voice of Moses who commanded:

“If there are any poor…in the land…do not be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward them. Instead, be generous and lend them whatever they need. …Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need” (Deut 15:7-11).

“Never take advantage of poor and destitute laborers, whether they are fellow Israelites or foreigners living in your towns. …True justice must be given to foreigners living among you…” (Deut 24:14-16).

Jesus is saying to remember also the voice of Proverbs, as we learn exactly who’s dazzling to the eyes of God:

“…blessed are those who help the poor… Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him” (Proverbs 14:21, 31).

“If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord— and he will repay you!” (Proverbs 19:17).

And listen to who are not so dazzling in God’s eyes:

“Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need” (Proverbs 21:13).

“A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty” (Proverbs 22:16).

“Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed” (Proverbs 28:27).

So, “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9 NRSV).

Remember the voice of the Psalmist…

“Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless;” (Psalms 82:2).

Do you want to dazzle the world? Then remember the voice of the prophet Isaiah:

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool” (Isaiah 1:17-18).

“In other words,” says the Lord, “when you help the least, when the mission and ministries of your church side with the poor, I will transform you. I will transfigure you!”

“Do you want to know how to be a transfigured church?” asks Jesus. “Then listen some more to Isaiah:”

“Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains of injustice. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. The Spirit of God will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply, ‘Remove the heavy yoke of oppression…Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon’” (Isaiah 58:6-10).

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want First Christian Church to be a great church. I want us to be a transfigured church. I want us to be a transformed and a transfigured church. I want us to be a Christian Church that is welcomed and blessed by God. I want us to be Disciples of Christ who are led forward by the Lord’s Spirit like the dawn, a light shining forth into the darkness. I want us to be a church that radiates love and light. I want us to be a church that dazzles the world!

I love talking with Charlotte Tidwell, the founder of Antioch Youth and Family, about the work that she does serving the impoverished in our city. It is hard to describe, but when Charlotte talks about mentoring children who are at risk, caring for the elderly and feeding the hungry, it is as if her face changes, transfigured if you will.

And as I stand before her, as I see the compassion in her eyes, the love of Christ in her smile, as I experience the warmth radiating from her heart, I am simply dazzled her presence!

It’s the same thing I witness every time I run a race with Ainsley’s Angels. You can see it in the eyes of the children we push. They look up at the Angel Runners who are pushing them, who are transformed, transfigured in their presence, and they are simply dazzled by them!

Today is Transfiguration Sunday. However, the transformation and transfiguration of our church will depend on what we do throughout the year. It will depend on how we serve. It will depend on where we serve. And it will depend on whom we serve. Let us pray together.

O God, we don’t want to be great. We just want to be transfigured. So, come O God, go with us as we serve selflessly and sacrificially, in places that we may not want to go, with people we would much rather ignore. Go with us and help us dazzle this city, our region and our world in the name of Jesus the Christ, Amen.

A Transfigured Church

hold child hand

Luke 9:28-38, 46-48 NRSV

In Luke chapter nine, we find the disciples arguing with one another about which one of them was the greatest.

And who could blame them? For it is in this same chapter that we read Peter, James and John had just witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus. They watched as the appearance of Jesus, his face, even his clothes transformed before them. Luke uses the word “dazzling” to describe the scene.

So, of course they are arguing about greatness. For they too wanted some glory. They too wanted to “dazzle” the world. They wanted to be great.

But what does it mean to be a great disciple of Christ? What does it mean to be a great church?

Well, we really do not have to ask, do we?  For all we have to do is listen, and we will hear countless voices telling us exactly what we need to do in order to be great.

Do you want to be a great church?

As the pastor, don’t ever be too real. Don’t let people know that you are a sinner. Don’t let it slip out that you sometimes have doubts. Make them believe that since Jesus came into your heart you no longer struggle, you never question your faith, and you have all of the answers.

Do you want to be a great church?

Don’t make people think too much. Don’t give them too much to ponder. Don’t make them question those things they have always believed. Don’t ever challenge them. Allow folks to check their brains in the logia. Tell them exactly what they need to believe to be a good Christian. Keep it simple. Make it black and white.

Do you want to be a great church?

Make church a little more entertaining. Do you really need to have communion every Sunday? That’s a lot of work. And besides, come on, no one wants to hear about sacrifice, shed blood and a broken body every Sunday! Trade the bread and juice for some coffee and doughnuts, or, on special Sundays, some biscuits with gravy. Make church a little more fun.

Forget about this Ash Wednesday thing. No one wants to talk about sin and mortality.

Do you want to be a great church?

Just skip the whole season of Lent and jump straight to Easter.

Do you want to be a great church?

Don’t ever criticize or challenge folks inside the church to change. Instead, criticize folks outside the church for they are the ones who really need to change. Create a “we-verses-those” mentality, an “insider-verses-outsider” way of thinking. And remind the congregation every Sunday that we are “in,” and those who disagree with us are “out.” Make them feel righteous, holy, superior, knowing that while we are on their way to heaven, those who are unlike us are on their way to hell.

Do you want to be a great church?

Look, it’s fine to welcome all people to church. And I guess it is ok to say that all means all. But you don’t have to say it every Sunday! Don’t over-emphasize it. Don’t over-broadcast it, because that is only going to attract those who are bad for business.

And you know, you really shouldn’t let some people, you know, those people, serve in any leadership positions. Don’t make them deacons and for God’s sake, never let them teach your children.

And don’t use words like “inclusion” and “diversity” so much. Because, the truth is, we like to be with folks who think like us, act like us and look like us.

Do you want to be a great church?

Don’t let babies, small children, or folks with disabilities disrupt the service. And don’t talk about helping the poor so much. Don’t talk so much about helping the marginalized of society so often. Because, if word gets out, you know what will happen. They will take advantage of us. They will use us until all of our funds run dry!

Do you want to be a great church?

Have more programs that are uplifting and edifying for the members. Don’t you know that people come to church to be spiritually fed. So keep everyone filled, satisfied, happy and comfortable. Don’t pressure members to do things that are outside of their comfort zones like sitting like sharing a meal at the same table with the homeless; developing a close friendship with a self-proclaimed atheist; volunteering at a prison, visiting nursing homes; or traveling to in impoverished areas of Peru or Congo.

Do you want to be a great church?

Preach what is popular. Instead of preaching extravagant grace, preach “love the sinner and hate the sin.” Instead of preaching social justice, preach “God only helps those who are willing to help themselves.”

Then Jesus comes, and he asks:

“What are you talking about?”

We are silent.

But Jesus heard us. Jesus always hears his disciples.

It is then that Jesus goes into the nursery and brings out a little baby; and taking the child in his arms, he says:

“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me” (Luke 9:47-48).

In other words, Jesus said:

“Stop worrying about being a great church and start worrying about the least. And when you do that, when you take care of those who cannot care for themselves, when you feed those who cannot feed themselves, when you clothe those who cannot clothe themselves, when you welcome those who usually feel unwelcomed, especially by organized religion, then you will be welcomed, and you will be blessed by the one who sent me. And like me standing on that mountain, you will be transformed, and you will be transfigured.”

Holding that baby in his arms, it is as if Jesus is asking: “Do you want to dazzle the world? Do you want to be transformed and transfigured as you saw me standing with Elijah and Moses? Then listen to my voice and listen to the voices from the law and the prophets.”

Jesus is saying remember the voice of Moses who commanded:

“If there are any poor…in the land…do not be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward them. Instead, be generous and lend them whatever they need. …Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need” (Deut 15:7-11).

“Never take advantage of poor and destitute laborers, whether they are fellow Israelites or foreigners living in your towns. …True justice must be given to foreigners living among you…” (Deut 24:14-16).

Jesus is saying to remember also the voice of Proverbs, as we learn exactly who’s dazzling to the eyes of God:

“…blessed are those who help the poor… Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him” (Proverbs 14:21, 31).

“If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord— and he will repay you!” (Proverbs 19:17).

And listen to who are not so dazzling in God’s eyes:

“Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need” (Proverbs 21:13).

“A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty” (Proverbs 22:16).

“Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed” (Proverbs 28:27).

So, “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9 NRSV).

Remember the voice of the Psalmist…

“Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless;” (Psalms 82:2).

Do you want to dazzle the world? Then remember the voice of Isaiah:

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool” (Isaiah 1:17-18).

“In other words,” says the Lord, “when you help the least, when the mission and ministries of your church side with the poor, I will transform you. I will transfigure you!”

“Do you want to know how to be a transfigured church?” asks Jesus. “Then listen some more to Isaiah:”

“Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains of injustice. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. The Spirit of God will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply, ‘Remove the heavy yoke of oppression…Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon’” (Isaiah 58:6-10).

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Central Christian Church to be a great church. I want us to be a transfigured church. I want us to be a transformed and a transfigured church. I want us to be a Christian Church that is welcomed and blessed by God. I want us to be Disciples of Christ who are led forward by the Lord’s Spirit like the dawn, a light shining forth into the darkness. I want us to be a church that radiates love and light. I want us to be a church that dazzles the world!

I love hearing Sue Dell, a member of this church, talk about serving the impoverished in Peru where our church has helped to build four schools. It is hard to describe, but When Sue talks about giving those poor children opportunities that only the rich kids in their country have, it is as if her face changes, transfigured if you will.

I can just imagine those impoverished children looking up at Sue, at the compassion in Sue’s eyes, at the love of Christ in Sue’s smile, experiencing the warmth radiating from her heart, and I can imagine those children simply being dazzled her presence!

Today is Transfiguration Sunday. However, the transformation and transfiguration of our church will depend on what we do throughout the year. It will depend on how we serve. It will depend on where we serve. And it will depend on whom we serve.