Ok, true confession. I am not actually preaching on the Transfiguration (TFig for us cool kids) this week, as I chose to go another direction. This is in part to set up a guest speaker we are having in a couple of weeks. And also, since this is true confession time, because as I was planning out the month I thought, "Transfiguration again? Really? Didnt we just DO that?"
I dont really remember transfiguration looming all that large in the gentle protestantism of my childhood, but since I've been preaching regularly, it sure does seem to come up more often than the liturgical calendar would suggest. Most years, I'm more than ready to make that trip up the mountain, to once again bear witness to the eager cluelessness of the disciples; the surprise re-appearance of those guys from way back in the first act; and the awesome majesty of Jesus. But this year, I didn't think I quite had it in me.
I might have changed my mind, though, if I had read Alyce M McKenzie's article at Patheos BEFORE I chose this week's scripture. If you are preaching TFig this week (or maybe especially if you are not) it is worth a gander. She has a delightful and inviting way of drawing out the humanity in the text. Or, coaxing us humans closer to the text. Whichever, it makes good reading. For example, listen to what she has to say about the role of Moses and Elijah:
When I was in the throes of a very long labor with my daughter, Rebecca, I remember clinging to the hand of a kindly nurse, who was trying to extricate herself from my grasp. "Give me back my hand now, honey," she said, kindly but firmly. "My shift is over now. I've gotta go home." I allowed her to pry my fingers from her hand. She smiled at me, and said, with that wonderfully practical manner that nurses have: "If one of us has to leave, it better be me. Because you're the only one who can have this baby."