Transfiguration Vision

(This is the last of my week’s ‘slant” reflection on Transfiguration Sunday and I am recalling not preaching, but sitting in a pew listening — thanks Brad Hirst for the great sermon. A little of the time I was distracted by this)

It’s Transfiguration and I love this text,
the mountain, the legacy visitors,
the clueless friends,
and the voice that talks to us
not just to Jesus like at the Jordan splashing
that started this bright season.

Then I hear it read
shifting everything sideways for me this year.

The scripture says “… his face changed.”
It says nothing about shining,
though I’ve always just assumed that was it,
along with the bright clothes
and prestigious ghosts.

But all of a sudden, I’m there
and know what scared them enough
to want to put a roof on it.

His face … changed.

I see it now, first the familiar face
of Jesus of Nazareth
and then …

of a first century Judean woman,
then wrinkled grandparent,
chubby cheeked child,
a face swiftly shifting in noses, lips,
the colors of skin in the world,
tattoos, lipstick, false teeth.

Never still for a moment,
sometimes there are tears or a laugh.

On the mountain – transfigured
three friends saw glory as a kaleidoscope
of the image of God.

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8 Responses to Transfiguration Vision

  1. Jnana Hodson says:

    Amazing what happens when we see a single word in the text afresh, without the lenses usually applied. Here, his face may have changed in any number of directions, some even fearful to behold. Quite richer and more profound, in many ways, than the golden sunshine version.
    Thanks for being the poet at work here, Maren.

  2. Jessica McArdle says:

    Thank you, Maren, for illuminating this text and countless others for us.

  3. Fascinating! I love that sideways shift!

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