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Welcome to Sunshine Cathedral, a congregational mission of Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We come together each week to sing and pray, to read the sacred texts of ancient times and those of our day. We celebrate community and strive to live our lives ethically and lovingly in all that we do. Let us gather in community to rest in the love of the one who made us in Her image.
The Call to Worship
We are brought here today to glimpse the hope that Christ has for us.
ALL: Open our hearts to receive that hope.
We are brought here today to be healed of our fears.
ALL: Heal us, Eternal Companion, with your love and power.
Come, let us receive the vision and healing love of God.
ALL: Praise be to God who continues to bless and restore us.
Based on Call to Worship #4 http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/3554/worship-connection-february-7-2016
Radiant God, source of light, as you surrounded Jesus with your glory, so you come to us in penetrating brightness.
You catch us off guard and expose our weakness.
We choose the limelight while you call us to explore the shadows and brighten the darkness. We seek the spectacular while you bind up the broken in countless acts of mercy.
We seek to stay on the mountain or in a comfortable pew while you walk to the valleys of need.
Radiant God, fill us with light and courage to carry good news into all the
corners of the world and to bring back the joy of your presence. Amen
The Wisdom of Desmond Tutu
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
The Wisdom of Albert Schweitzer
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
Luke 9.32-34 (The Message)
Peter and those with him were slumped over in sleep. When they came to, rubbing their eyes, they saw Jesus in his glory and two people [Moses & Elijah] standing with him. When Moses and Elijah had left, Peter said to Jesus, “Teacher, this is a great moment! Let’s build three memorials: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He blurted this out without thinking.
While he was babbling on like this, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them. As they found themselves buried in the cloud, they became deeply aware of God.”
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Our readings today give us images of light, images of community and relationship, and images of what it means to be transfigured while still in this life. So today I want to talk with you about what it might mean for us as humans to become transpiritual, to move from an outward appearance of living in a finite body to the reality that we are made of the cosmic elements of the universe, made in the image of God herself.
I believe we already have a sense that there is more to life than simply waking and sleeping, working and toiling through the days of our lives. We who come here in communal prayer each week understand that community and relationship is important in our lives.
Today we will look at three milestones along our journey to TranSpirituality:
Our first reading today invites us to consider that hope plays an important roll in our spiritual development. It can be easy in our media driven world to concentrate on the tragedy and violence in the world. I admit that some days the news hits me in the face and I feel a shroud of darkness descend over me. The great Archbishop Desmond Tutu reminds us, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
Bishop Tutu dared to imagine a South Africa released from the grip of Apartheid. Nelson Mandela, the first president of post Apartheid history had spent 25 years in prison for openly speaking against the oppression that Apartheid enforced. Bishop Tutu, Mandela, and others were able to transition from a mindset of oppression and hopelessness to a vision of hope. They dared to imagine a world as they knew it rather than settling for the reality of life as it was. They were able to overcome the inertia of expectation and claim a vision of themselves that was radically different from social expectation.
When we come to terms with the fact that we must transition from hopelessness to hope, from concentrating on the darkness to embracing the pinpoint of light, then we begin the process of transformation. The definition of transformation is “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.” Once we transition in our minds from hopelessness to hope we begin to transform outwardly. Our second reading speaks to us about this process. Our reading from Albert Schweitzerhighlights our need for community and relationship to sustain us.
Schweitzer says, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.” Transformation requires us to hold that image of ourselves in transition within ourselves and bond with others in community and relationship to help sustain us through the transformation that follows. We cannot do it alone. We need each other.
And that brings us to our gospel lesson, the reading relating the transfiguration. In this story we see the importance of being in conversation with our ancestors, of being in touch with our history. Jesus is seen talking with Moses and Elijah, the two most revered names in Jewish history. We have images of resurrection; Moses and Elijah are alive again with us here on earth. It is a true mountain top experience. And as often happens with us, when we have these transformative experiences we want to remain in them.
We do not grow spiritually on the mountaintop. We gain the necessary strength to go back into the valleys of our lives knowing that the world and its brokenness does not define us. We are on a journey to wholeness, a journey that some folks in our lives will not understand, a journey that others in our lives will embrace and travel with us.
Transition, transformation, transfiguration…. These are our mileposts on the road to TranSpirituality, to wholeness, to becoming aware of our eternal spirit, our true selves. I invite all of us today to awaken to the light even when the darkness seems to overcome us. I pray that we will become willing to nurture and be nurtured by others on our journey. And I yearn for a day when we are all transfigured so that those around us begin to understand that there is more to life than what may be apparent in our day to day lives.
Let us embrace the mountain top experiences and draw strength from those times so that we can live a life rich with light, love, and service. May it be so for all of us today and always. Amen
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