Feast of the Transfiguration

Transfiguration by Lewis Bowman

Each time we disclose a truth about ourselves, we part a veil. By doing so, we invite others to come into our lives and make contact with us. Parting any veil forces a degree of vulnerability and demands unimaginable trust and faith. By inviting Peter, John, and James up to the mountain, Jesus extends to them the unexpected privilege to see himself transfigured in all his glorious splendour.

The ‘Feast of the Transfiguration’, celebrated this Sunday, is another occasion when we are invited to see God in a new way. Whenever we see God in Christ afresh, we too are invited to see ourselves – and others –  in a new way.

Significantly, the Transfiguration is the only time other than at his baptism, when God delights in Jesus as ‘his beloved’. To be ‘beloved’ is at the heart of our relationship with God in Christ as we, through baptism, share in his life and are ourselves ‘beloved’. We express that same quality of belovedness in our human relationships and so make God’s love known as, relationally, we build ‘communities of love’.

For the LGBTQ+ community – especially those who are Christian – recent discussions and outcomes from the Lambeth Council meeting of the Anglican Communion, have led them to doubt that our church is one which is genuine in seeking to build communities of love.

I was sent a link to a letter from the respected broadcaster, Sandi Toksvig, to the equally respected Archbishop Jusitin Welby, following his reaffirming of the  1998 Anglican declaration rejecting same-sex marriage. As I read it (despite my reservations about her style and tone, as well as my traditional view of the sanctity of marriage), I had a revelation of my own into the pain of those who look to the church to affirm ‘belovedness’ and find only rejection and the denial of their ‘belovedness’. For me a veil is lifting, It feels vulnerable and will no doubt make real demands on me in terms of ministry and faith.

You may chose to read the letter and reflect. Here is a link to it and Archbishop Justin’s reply.


Letter and reply

‘God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them’.

In the love of God