Transfiguration Sunday: There and Back Again

Jan + Garrison in Iowa

Reading from the Gospels, Transfiguration Sunday, Year A (March 6): Matthew 17.1-9

Gary and I are settling back in after being away recently for a wonderful trip to the Midwest. We seem to be establishing a tradition of leaving Florida in February for colder climes; last year we were in Minnesota in February, and this year it was Iowa, where the temperature actually climbed into the low 60s while we were there! By the time we left, all the snow that you see in this picture had pretty well melted. We were the guests of Iowa Wesleyan College, where I served as this year’s speaker for the Manning Lecture Series and as artist-in-residence for the week. Gary (who also did some concerts around Iowa) and I collaborated on some of the events and greatly enjoyed the time we spent with students, faculty, clergy, and folks from the surrounding community. In the studio, the chapel, the classroom, and the table, we received tremendous hospitality and are grateful to everyone who offered us such a warm welcome.

Our trip capped a great but intense stretch of speaking engagements, which accounts for my absence from The Painted Prayerbook in recent weeks. I have missed you! I am glad for the chance to take some Sabbath time as I settle back in, and am also eager to dive into some creative work that I’ve been itching to get to. I’ll be cooking up some new artwork and reflections here for Lent and look forward to sharing the coming season with you.

As I reenter my life here, absorbing and reflecting on what I received in Iowa,  it seems fitting that this Sunday is the Feast of the Transfiguration. The disciples who went up the mountain with Jesus and down again had to do in a dramatic way what each of us is called to do in our daily lives: to be drawn to those places where we see and know Christ with greater clarity—the mountain, the Midwest—and then to return to the rhythm of our lives, absorbing what we have seen and allowing it to infuse how we perceive and enter into our ordinary days.

As we approach Transfiguration Sunday, how are you navigating that journey in your own life? Where are you letting Christ draw you, that you may glimpse him more clearly? How does this change the way you move through your daily life? Are you open to how Christ might yet surprise and stun you with his appearing?

I have a couple of previous reflections on the Transfiguration and invite you to visit them while I hunker down in my studio and prepare for the coming season. You can click on the images or the titles below to find your way.

In this week, may Christ our Light illumine and transform your daily path. Blessings.

Transfiguration: Back to the Drawing Board

Transfiguration Sunday: Show and (Don’t) Tell

3 Responses to “Transfiguration Sunday: There and Back Again”

  1. Maureen Says:

    Welcome back! Sounds like you had a marvelous time. You and Gary make such a great-looking couple. Blessings.

  2. Rosalie Nelson Says:

    So glad you’re back! I’ve missed your posts! I do love your comments, and at this time ( my husband is facing cancer) they are all the more meaningful.

  3. Nancy Denmark Says:

    Epiphany has always been one of my favorite seasons of the Church calendar because of the focus on LIGHT. This year’s long Epiphany season has taken us right into spring here in my corner of Texas. Christ appears to me in the many symbols of transformation that come with spring. The budding trees, new blossoms, butterflies… they manifest themselves so quickly here. What a difference one week makes! Many life symbols for me in the breaking of spring. I often commit myself to new art making as a Lenten discipline. I find myself today pondering the ways I may discipline myself this year to bear more fruit in the studio. Maybe on this Transfiguration Sunday I will see the light, climbing to a mountain of sorts to look for the answer, and more clearly define how my Lenten discipline may evolve this year. Thanks for the post…I was led here by a search for “Transfiguration Sunday”.

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