We have seen his glory! – Br. David Vryhof

Br. David Vryhof

Mark 9:2-9

What do we make of a story like this?  Jesus leads three of his closest friends up a high mountain and there he is transfigured before them!  His clothes become dazzling white, whiter than anyone on earth could bleach them!  Moses and Elijah, representing the law and the prophets, suddenly appear beside Jesus, speaking with him!  A cloud overshadows them all, and a voice booms out of the cloud, “This is my Son, the Beloved.  Listen to him!” No wonder the poor disciples are terrified!

What do we make of a story like this that describes a theophany so extraordinary, so spectacular, so dazzling, so supernatural, that it defies logic.  The whole experience lies so far beyond anything any of us has or ever will see or know, it is almost impossible to imagine.

For a few brief moments, the veil is lifted and the disciples see the radiant glory of God beaming from the person of Jesus.  And then it is over, as quickly as it began.

The remarkable incident described in today’s gospel reading calls to mind the earlier story of Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist (Mark 1:9-11).  There, too, a voice from heaven rumbled out of the clouds, though this time the message was directed to Jesus himself: “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”  It was a message of love and affirmation, which confirmed his identity as God’s Beloved Son, and signaled the start of his mission. Read More

Raiment White and Glistening – Br. James Koester

Mark 9: 2 – 9

Recently, I have found myself recalling the fact the first 10, now 11, and soon 12 months have passed, since we closed the guesthouse and then the chapel. You will remember those days I’m sure. We began hearing about this new virus and the reports of mounting deaths Soon we were horrified to discover that it had reached this country. Suddenly there was anxiety about how it spread, and were instructed to suspend various liturgical practices, such as the Common Cup, physically exchanging the Peace, and holy water at the doors of churches. Days after, we announced we were closing the guesthouse. By the end of that week, we closed the chapel. It’s now been almost a year.

Today, nearly half a million people have died from Covid-19 in this country, and almost 2.3 million around the world.[1]

In many ways these last 11 months have been a time of disfiguration, quite literally, as many have been disfigured by disease and death. Some of those who have recovered continue to feel the effects and are living with post-COVID-19 syndrome.[2] They live with chronic difficulties breathing, exhaustion, brain fog, and a loss of taste and smell. No one knows how long these symptoms will last.

This is a time of disfiguration; peoples’ bodies and their health have been disfigured, first by disease, and then in some cases, by death. Read More

From the Archive: Jesus’ Transfiguration; Our Transfiguration – Br. Curtis Almquist

Br. Curtis Almquist originally preached this sermon on Feb. 22, 2009. We’re pleased to repost it in honor of today’s Feast of the Transfiguration.

Mark 9:2-9; Matthew 17:1-8; Luke 9:28-35

In early February, one of my brothers and I were on top of Mount Tabor where this event, Jesus’ transfiguration, took place. We were traveling with a group of pilgrims following the path of Jesus’ birth, ministry, death and resurrection in Israel/Palestine.  Mount Tabor is north of Jerusalem, and about 11 miles west of the Sea of Galilee.  Mount Tabor is forested with pine trees and offering stunning, panoramic views.  On a clear day, to the north and west you can see Lebanon; to the east, beyond of the Sea of Galilee, you can see Syria, Jordan, and Mount Hermon.  Jesus and his disciples would have known the words of Psalm 89 about these majestic mountaintops: “The north and the south – you created them; Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.”i And that is because these mountain tops are so beautiful and breezy.  Mount Tabor is only about 2,000 feet above sea level, but that is a lofty height above the sea level of Galilee and the nearby desert of the Jezreel Valley.  Mount Tabor is a place where you would like to stay; we certainly would have been glad for a longer visit.  (I wanted to get information from the Franciscan guesthouse about staying there!)  And so, on the one hand, it’s no wonder that Peter and James and John were coaxing Jesus to stay around and build some tents, which is how people then and now would set up camp out in the wilds.ii Read More

Jesus’ Transfiguration; Our Transfiguration – Br. Curtis Almquist

Mark 9:2-9; Matthew 17:1-8; Luke 9:28-35

In early February my brother Bruce and I were on top of Mount Tabor where this event, Jesus’ transfiguration, took place. We were traveling with a group of pilgrims following the path of Jesus’ birth, ministry, death and resurrection in Israel/Palestine.  Mount Tabor is north of Jerusalem, and about 11 miles west of the Sea of Galilee.  Mount Tabor is forested with pine trees and offering stunning, panoramic views.  Read More

Christ’s Transfiguration, and Ours – Br. Eldridge Pendleton

1 Kings 19: 9-18 Psalm 27
2 Peter 1: 16-19 Mark 9: 2-9

What we hear in the Gospel today is an epiphany, a manifestation of Christ, a revelation of the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth. Was it a dream? Was it a waking vision? Was it a story Peter recounted many years later as he remembered it of his experience on the mountain that day? Read More