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Worship Materials: Transfiguration

From the Festive Worship collection

 

THEME           The Vision that Transforms

 THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. To see Christ in another human being is illumination. To see Christ in all human beings is transfiguration.
  2. Abandon yourself to the otherness and you will find yourself in the process.
  3. From the point of light I come,
    to the point of light I move,
    in the point of light I AM,
    or as St Paul said ‘In God we live and move and have our being’.
    (Acts 17:28)
  4. Even the most wonderful experience of God can become a hindrance to growth if we seek to turn the boundless mystery into some limiting concrete manifestation.
  5. Nurture the mystic within you for she is the guardian of the most  sacred mysteries. She alone is the You that cannot be destroyed for her name is compassionate wisdom and her aspect is divinity.
  6. The story of the transfiguration underlines the rhythm of work and worship, the place of the ancestors, the enlightenment of the darkness, and the power of the reflective activist.
  7. Transfiguration is seeing things in a different way. Have you ever thought like a mountain? See hymn
  8. The beginning of the process of enlightenment is the dawn of awareness.
    The goal of the process of enlightenment is immersion in the mystery.
  9. No one can own the mystery, but all can delight in it.
    No one can own the mystery, but all can discover they are part of it.
  10. To be at one with all things one must first have imagined what it is like to be a rock, a plant, another animal, the sky, the sea, another person, the earth and even the sacred mystery of God.
  11. The sounds of heaven are the song of the earth.
  12. The mountain of mystery and the plains of suffering and oppression all belong within the one vision and are both parts of the topography of life.
  13. Whether we live on the top of a mountain of wealth, possessions, power, learning, social status, or live in the valley of the oppressed and the marginalized, the call comes to us all to walk with the people, to dance reverently on the earth and to descend into the manger of our own heart.
  14. The spiritually empowered walk a fine line between quietism and activism.

 

 

PRAYER

O Jesus Christ whose presence we can discern both in life’s illuminating hills and its shadowy valleys, help us not to limit you to the world of human beings, nor the accounts of human history, but to perceive you in all your cosmic glory.

 

HYMNS

There’s no two-ness in God. (BL)

We believe in a mystery we call God. (BL)

If Heaven is more than simply a place. (BL)

Come, let us think like mountain rocks (BL)

 

The right time has come.

www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/boundlesslife

Help us, O Christ, to choose the path.

www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/boundlesslife

There shall be life and love.

www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/boundlesslife

 

In the first stage of seeking (stages of spiritual growth).

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

All will be well.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

You do not need to come, O God.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

 

On top of the mountain. (STS1)

When the temple veil is torn in two. (STS1)

Epiphany of wisdom’s dawn. (STS1)

Singing the Sacred, Vol 1, 2011 World Library Publications

 

POEMS / REFLECTIONS

 

TRANSFIGURATION

I find myself when I am not me,

When I am the primal explosion that birthed the atoms of my cells,

When I am the darkness out of which the sun emerged,

the darkness that birthed the chaotic complexity of my innermost unknown.

When I am the dialogue between the wave and the beach

like the interaction of my thoughts with the substance of my brain.

When I am the rock and our common ancestry,

When I am the rhythm and the flowing of the river and the sea

When the veins of the leaf are the veins of my body

And the universe and I are one

then I AM.

 

 

RESPONSIVE READING

In the radiance of the face of Christ,

In the soft smile of tender love,

In the compassion of the healer’s hands,

In the playfulness of the Inner Child

WE SEE THE LIVING-GOD

AND THROUGH ALL THESE VISIONS WE ARE TRANSFORMED

In the glistening of the crystal raindrops,

In the wild interplay of sea and sky,

In the struggle to protect the forests,

In the challenge to nurture God’s good earth

WE SEE THE LIVING GOD

AND THROUGH ALL THESE VISIONS WE ARE TRANSFORMED

In the loving that embraces outcasts,

In the poor who work for peace and justice,

In the strong who share their wealth and power,

In the wise who know life’s fragrant worth,

WE SEE THE LIVING GOD

AND THROUGH ALL THESE VISIONS WE ARE TRANSFORMED

 

AN INTERPRETATION OF THE TRANSFIGURATION

When we come to a point of awareness, a point of enlightenment, a point of great spiritual insight the inner light of our spirit is reflected in our whole body and can be perceived by those close to us.

Divisions and dualisms melt; life and death, past and present become as one. The cloud of enlightenment is a cloud of inclusiveness and so there is the presence of the shadow as well as the dazzling whiteness, a shadow of mystery and of unknowing that goes beyond any desire to limit the experience to concrete manifestations. An intrinsic part of the experience is an affirmation of ‘that of God’ which is within each person, the I AM. The enlightenment which Christ experienced did not lead him to become a reclusive world-denying mystic, but instead to become a prophetic life-affirming mystic, who immediately descended into the valley of the suffering and oppression of the ‘people of the land’.

 

 

FOCUS FOR ACTION

  1. Do I view history as something that has been superseded by the advance of science, or is there wisdom that I can learn from history if I interpret it in the light of modern thought? Should this affect the way that I view the Bible?

 

  1. How do I link my mystical experiences of God with my everyday life? Do my experiences of God/Mystery/Life Force need reinterpreting?

 

  1. Do I see all life as one interconnected and interacting reality?  Or do I still have some separate boxes in my mind e.g. spirituality and sexuality, spirituality and politics, anger and love?

 

 

Text and image © William Livingstone Wallace but available for free use.

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