I hope you’ll be in worship this week. This Sunday is known as Transfiguration Sunday. Transfiguration Sunday is always celebrated on the last Sunday before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. (Ash Wednesday this year will be on February 26th and I hope you’ll be in worship that evening as well for our 6:15 Ash Wednesday service). The background information below is from the General Board of Discipleship’s website (www.gbod.org).
United Methodists and many other denominations schedule the observance of the Transfiguration on the last Sunday after the Epiphany (the Sunday before Ash Wednesday). The Book of Common Prayer collect for this Sunday suggests why the Transfiguration is celebrated when it is:
O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon
the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his
countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his
likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
We celebrate the revelation of Christ's glory "before the passion" so that we may "be strengthened to bear our cross and be changed into his likeness." The focus of the Lenten season is renewed discipline in walking in the way of the cross and rediscovery of the baptismal renunciation of evil and sin and our daily adherence to Christ. At Easter, which reveals the fullness of Christ’s glory – which is foreshadowed in the Transfiguration – Christians give themselves anew to the gospel where they share the dying and rising of Christ.
In the biblical context, the synoptic gospels narrate the Transfiguration as a bridge between Jesus' public ministry and his passion. From the time of the Transfiguration, Jesus sets his face to go to Jerusalem and the cross.
I hope to see you on Sunday - if not before.