I have a friend who says after tasting some delicious food, “This is heaven.” In our lives, we have little tastes of heaven. A wonderful vacation in the mountains, a fabulous meal, a close, intimate time with someone we love. Tastes of heaven are those delightful times when for no occasion somebody gives us a gift, an old friend calls us or sends us an email, our boss says what a good job we are doing, our teacher compliments our schoolwork, Grandma sends an unexpected check. These moments can give us a little idea of what the total goodness and glory of God are like. They can be life-giving, refreshing and encouraging.
Bishop Vann has chosen the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord as the feast day of our newly dedicated Christ Cathedral. Usually celebrated on August 6, he has moved the celebration of the Transfiguration to this Sunday for Christ Cathedral Parish. Over these years, we have experienced the transformation of the Christ Cathedral campus, our parish and now our cathedral. It is fitting that this feast in which the apostles got a glimpse of the transforming glory of Jesus will be observed from now on as the Feast Day of Christ Cathedral.
In the Gospel for this day, Peter, James and John were given a taste of heaven. On the top of Mt. Tabor, for a few moments, they experienced Jesus in his brilliant, dazzling glory. From the moment they received the vision, they were able to carry it within them. It was this vision of glory which pulled them through the suffering and crosses of their lives.
As people of faith, we look forward to sharing fully in God’s glory. Like the apostles on Mt. Tabor, we already carry this glory within us because of Jesus’ resurrection. Heavenly glory is already planted within us. Like a seed planted in the earth, we are occasionally surrounded by the darkness of sin and its consequences. The good news is that the glory of God is more powerful than sin which breaks through in the transforming moments of our lives. In the spirit of the Transfiguration, Christ Cathedral stands as a symbol of transformation. May God’s glory not only shine through this place but also through us who gather here in faith.
Together in faith,
The Very Rev. Christopher Smith, rector