Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Feast of Transfiguration: ways into our lives

Transfiguration of Christ:
my last post was on the songs and some verses of the Feast.



One of the blessings in Orthodoxy is found in
the words that uphold it ~
and that there are different translations that give us
various hints of what is really found there.
*
Here is another translation of the troparion of
this Feast:

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, 
 revealing Your glory to Your disciples as far as they could bear it.
 Let Your everlasting Light also shine upon us sinners, 
 through the prayers of the Theotokos.  
O Giver of Light, glory to You!
*
"as far as they could bear it"
*
I love the verses of this feast,
at vigil and at liturgy.
*
Mr. Husband and I were able to make a long weekend
so we could be at our far-away church for this feast.
*
It reminded me so much of what my
spiritual father in Ottawa would often say to us:
God's character is gentle,
so gentle and patient that He waits for us.
Unlike how many in the world act, 
wanting to force, manipulate or control
God is not like that.
He loves us.
He is gentle, He waits for us.
*
And so we see the verses and memory of the feast
and how it is linked to the revealing of God in the
Old Testament,
to Moses, to Elijah.
*
God is merciful.
God is not found in the violent winds,
terrible storms or earthquakes.
The voice of a still wind
is where God is found.
*
God who brings an Angel to Elijah when he
is exhausted and beyond strength.
*
A God who in Isaiah is said that
He will not snuff our a smoldering wick
or break a bruised reed.


A God who gives us the blessing of fruit
to remind us of how He can bring
our lives to fruition,
can transform everything.
 
Ultimately what we are really craving is
for Christ to be in us
to transfigure our lives.
*
God works with us where we are;
as much as we can bear or endure...
*
There are some ways to bring this feast into our homes to
remind us of what we are desire:

~putting icon of Transfiguration out for the Feast
~Going to church for vespers/vigil and liturgy for the Feast
~Bringing fruit to church to be blessed on the Feast
~Praying the Kontokion and Troparion at home
~Having a fish meal
~Inviting others to eat fish with us
~Decorating our house with beautiful things for the feast
~Wearing white to church to remember the brightness of this feast
*
But there is more.
And there I can't help you as much
as I am still wanting this more as well.
All I can tell you is that in God and in the Church
there are limitless depths of transformation,
of being transfigured in Christ,
taking part of Christ's life.
*
I know hints of it and how I try to open my life to it ~
and for this it is going to differ per person.
*
For me it was stopping
 reading mystery books and changing
the music I listen to
and getting used to more silence in my life.
It is for the first time going off FB for a fast
(the first day was hard but now not so bad).
It is trying to build discipline in life for prayer.
It is a constant effort and struggle
 that has to be renewed daily.
*
I struggle with it a lot.
God is waiting for us.
Waiting for us to turn to Him.
Waiting for us to desire Him more than all else.
We, I, are/am so distracted.
*
But God is Who we all must ultimately come back to.
*
I was struck so much by our trip to BC,
with leaving up North and seeing the land,
the beautiful verdant land and mountains
and then going towards Vancouver,
it was like going towards desolation and yet
Vancouver is one of the beautiful cities of the world.
Truly in all things
we are longing for God
who renews us,
who can renew creation
who can transfigure everything.
*
It is Christ's transfiguration that we must seek to find
ways to let it enter our lives.
As much as we can.
As much as we can endure,
As much as we can bear.
Christ is Transfigured.
Hope for the Future.
A reminder of when we are in our times of desolation.
A light for when we are facing the Cross and Confusion.
A Hope when all seems an uphill climb and perhaps
we are not sure we even got to the right mountain.
*
It is in the end this we are waiting for:
When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

3 comments:

katherine johnson said...

Such beautiful thoughts on this feast. It looks like yours was a beautiful celebration. Even though we've always celebrated on the new calendar, every year I've loved celebrating my birthday knowing it falls on the old calendar Transfiguration date. (I think you may have been the first one to point this out to me?)

One of my favorite feasts - when they looked up they saw no one but Jesus. You're so very right. That's what we're waiting for.

elizabeth said...

Thanks Katherine ~ that could be that I pointed this out to you ~ :) ~ hard to remember! So many real blessings in our lives!

It is the feast nearest to my chrismation and is very special also to me.

It really does sum up what we are wanting in all of this...

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

A beautiful post indeed, my friend!