2/26/06, Transfiguration Sunday, year B
ur minds are the most important part of us. We live in our minds. Of course, our other body parts are important but our brains are the center of our eternal soul. Our soul is the most important part of us because it lasts forever. "What shall a person give in exchange for his/her soul?"
Many of us have seen the movie, "A Beautiful Mind." It was built around the life of the genius John Nash who was born with a beautiful mathematical mind. During his Ph.D. studies he made an astonishing discovery that brought international recognition. But sadly the dapper young professor began to sink deep into schizophrenia and a world of imaginary people. After years of dark episodes he came to realize, in one of his sane times, that a person in his imaginary world had not aged over the years and was therefore not real. He devised a method of logically denying the existence of these imaginary characters and soon learned to keep them at bay. In time he regained the love of his faithful wife, the respect of his peers and was awarded a Nobel Prize. His beautiful mind was returned to him.
In this Sunday's epistle we have heard Saint Paul saying that. "The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel. The gospel is veiled to those who are perishing." (2 Cor. 4:4) Many people live with spiritual darkness and miss out on the beautiful light that Christ wants to sine on them. Part of the Good News is that those living in darkness can see the great light and can come to it and experience spiritual enlightenment. However, "seeing the great light," means that we can come out of darkness and live in the light.
The invitation of these texts on Transfiguration Sunday is to come out of darkness into the great light. However, we have to be willing to open our hearts to receive what God has for us. We have to be willing to walk up the mountain.
The two texts, printed above, connect in that they are both related to spiritual enlightenment which can only come from God. Spirituality is not an academic subject only. It is an experience to be believed in our souls (inner person, hearts) and lived our in life. This means that we can have the assurance of salvation and the hope of heaven.
This pre-post Resurrection experience of Peter, James and John atop Mount Herman is a foreshadowing of the New Testament era. What they experienced then, we can have now. We sometimes call this Spiritual Enlightenment. In Academic circles we also call the attainment of degrees and the reading of books as a way of attaining mental enlightenment. We need both in order to attain the complete person: Both academic and spiritual enlightenment can be had as we climb the mountain and stand with our hearts and minds open to receive the blessings that God has for us.
To be transfigured means to be changed. Inward and spiritual change for the better is what the Good News of Jesus Christ is all about. Even better than a "Beautiful Mind" is a "Beautiful Soul," which is made so by the transforming/transfiguring power of the Holy Spirit.
sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor