Happy Easter! Sunday was a great day at Grace, as is every day that we gather to worship the living God.
Today I share with you a reflection that was written by Desmond Tutu 18 years ago. In it, he shares an experience he had when gathered with other church leaders during the most difficult days of apartheid. When he speaks of “transfiguration”, I see the power of resurrection. I offer this to you as a reminder of the transformation that God is bringing about in our lives and in the life of the whole world. May we joyfully live into the change that God is bringing about.
The words below my name are Bishop Tutu’s.
Grace and peace,
We met at a theological college that had closed down because of the government’s racist policies. During our discussions I went into the priory garden for some quiet. There was a huge Calvary—a large wooden cross without a corpus, but with protruding nails and crown of thorns. It was a stark symbol of the Christian faith. It was winter: the grass was pale and dry and nobody would have believed that in a few weeks’ time it would be lush and green and beautiful again. It would be transfigured.
As I sat quietly in the garden I realized the power of transfiguration—of God’s transformation—in our world. The principle of transfiguration is at work when something so unlikely as the brown grass that covers our veld in winter becomes bright green again. Or when the tree with gnarled leafless branches bursts forth with the sap flowing so that the birds sit chirping in the leafy branches. Or when the once dry streams gurgle with swift-flowing water. When winter gives way to spring and nature seems to experience its own resurrection.
The principle of transfiguration says nothing, no one and no situation, is “untransfigurable,” that the whole of creation, nature, waits expectantly for its transfiguration, when it will be released from its bondage and share in the glorious liberty of the children of God, when it will not be just dry inert matter but will be translucent with divine glory. . . .
All over this magnificent world God calls us to extend [God’s] kingdom of shalom—peace and wholeness—of justice, of goodness, of compassion, of caring, of sharing, of laughter, of joy, and of reconciliation. God is transfiguring the world right this very moment through us because God believes in us and because God loves us. What can separate us from the love of God? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And as we share God’s love with our brothers and sisters, God’s other children, there is no tyrant who can resist us, no oppression that cannot be ended, no hunger that cannot be fed, no wound that cannot be healed, no hatred that cannot be turned to love, no dream that cannot be fulfilled.