I preached my first sermon on Sunday, August 6, 1978, in the United Methodist church of Lyons, Kansas. The congregation, my captive audience, took it well. 😉 I preached on the Transfiguration, which remains one of my favorite narratives in the gospels.

I have to admit that I miss preaching. I have been invited to preach in the Divine Liturgy a couple of times here in Finland; there is a tradition of lay preaching in Orthodoxy as there is in Methodism.

It cannot be emphasized enough: sacrament and preaching are not opposed. To use a common patristic metaphor, the table of the Word is as important as the table of the Eucharist. Unfortunately, in few places today does that balance actually appear. Another way to put it is that sermon and Eucharist require each other.

Today is the feast of the Transfiguration. What does the Transfiguration really mean? Perhaps in the Transfiguration narrative there are overtones of the angelic transformation one finds in I Enoch, perhaps echoes of the translation of the prophet Elijah, the face of Moses shining after his meeting God, the glory of God on Mt. Sinai.  However, unlike either Enoch or Elijah, Jesus doesn’t leave the earth – yet.  It is the revelation of something previously hidden, something that leaves its witnesses awestruck and prostrate on the ground . . . prefiguration, sign of hope for some, sign of fear for others. Cause of trembling for all . . .

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