Glencairn Methodist Church
February is a "transition" month. Not so much a transition from Winter into Spring, although we may see some spring-like weather before the end of the month, if only winter would release its icy grasp. No, I am thinking of the transition from Christmas and the trilogy of seasons which surround it to Easter and its surrounding seasons. From the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, seasons of waiting, celebrating and sharing, to the seasons of Lent and Easter and the Days of Ascension and Pentecost, times of preparing, rejoicing and transformation. For a couple of weeks, from Candlemas or the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple on 2nd February, to Ash Wednesday on 17th, we have this short period of transition between those two great feasts of Christmas and Easter when we celebrate the Incarnation and the Resurrection, both essential for our salvation. The pictures at the top of this page indicate these events.
The Lectionary for the Sunday before Lent allows us to choose the theme of the Transfiguration of Christ - literally the "change in appearance" of Christ. [See Luke 9: 28-36]. We read that the appearance of Jesus' face changed and that "his clothes became as bright of a flash of lightening". Not only that but Moses (signifying the Law), and Elijah (signifying the Prophets) appeared with him, also "in glorious splendour". They spoke about his "departure" (i.e. his crucifixion) which he was "about to bring to fulfilment in Jerusalem". This was witnessed by Peter, James and John and it was a sign to them that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah. Moses himself, when alive on earth, spoke with God on Mount Sinai and his face was transfigured. We read that "his face was radiant". [See Exodus 34: 29-35]
When a person becomes a Christian something changes in them. They are "born again". Their face may not be transfigured as those of Moses and Jesus, but sometimes there is a certain radiance about them that others can see. Furthermore they are "transformed" - changed in form - a new creation in Christ. St Paul has something to say about this is the third reading for the Sunday before Lent - "we are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord." [2 Corinthians 3:12 - 4:2]
Nevertheless Christians are still human and are still prone to times of darkness in their lives - depression, illness, doubt, sorrow - and the radiance may be lost for a time. When this happens to you, then always bear in mind that you are still a child of God, come what may, and trust in the eternal salvation bought for us on the Cross.
Dear Reader, please let Christ transform you!
2 February - Candlemas - 2010
NOTE - Previous "Monthly Messages" are archived at http://glencairn.connor.anglican.org/previousmessages.htm