Sunday, February 11, 2018

Transfiguring the Muck Before It Becomes Ash

Today at our interactive service we'll do an interesting mash up of days.  Our church has beignets between services:  it's Mardi Gras.  Today on the liturgical calendar, it's Transfiguration Sunday.  I completely forgot that fact when I planned our activity today, which is an Ash Wednesday kind of group art project.

In fact, I completely forgot about Transfiguration Sunday until the end of all of our services when I was taking apart the installation art that I made to celebrate the baptism of our Lord.  But by then, I had already planned and announced the art project.

Right now, in my car, I have 3 dresser drawers from a piece of furniture damaged in the flooding that came with Hurricane Irma.  I have a vision for shadow boxes, so I've put some damaged stuff in the car, along with a few branches and fading blossoms and clippers in case we want more.  Last week I told people what I had in mind and invited them to bring their own images of hurricane damage.

In some ways, it's may lead us to an interesting discussion of both Transfiguration and Ash Wednesday.  We think of Transfiguration as this transcendent moment on the mountain--and it is.  But the important part of the story, one that may be overlooked, is that we don't get to stay on the mountain.  We can't build our booths up there.  We have to come back to the muck and the mess.

Our lives are made up of so much muck and mess.  And Ash Wednesday reminds us that this muck and mess dries up eventually--we're ash, and all too soon, we'll blow away.

How can we transfigure this muck and mess?  Ash Wednesday BEGS us to wrestle with this question, now, before it is too late.

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