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Pastoral Letter - February 8, 2024

This coming Sunday will be the 6th Sunday after Epiphany, the compleat, total, final, terminal Sunday of the Christmas season.   After that, instead of looking backward at Christmas, we will look forward to Easter.   Appropriately, this coming Sunday is the Feast of the Transfiguration.


The Gospel of Mark tells the story:


"Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves.   And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.   And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus.   Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”   He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.   Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”


From Christmas through Epiphany we celebrate the extraordinary Good News that this birth, this Incarnation, somehow changed human life for the better, brought down light from above and lifted us up from below.   Now as we bring the season after Christmas to a close and begin the penitential season of Lent, we celebrate Christ's Transfiguration.   Our challenge in this time is to live and proclaim this Good News, to rise to every occasion, whether of joy or of grief, to rise above the ordinary and be extraordinary.


Ash Wednesday impends, next Wednesday, the 14th of February, the beginning of Lent coinciding with Valentine's Day, which does not seem quite fitting.   Oh well.   We will be so happy that the 49ers won the Super Bowl that we will not pay much attention to either one.   Or . . . well, never mind.


Sunday morning worship will be at 10:30 as usual.

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