Summary: We yearn to be free. In Christ we can be transformed from a slave mentality, we can become agents of liberation, and we can come forth from self-imposed bondages. For Transfiguration Sunday and for Black History Month; uses poems (not replicated here)
The plan of God is that all should be free. All free. Free from the things that keep us from what God intends us to be. Free from oppression, free from hostility. Most of all, free from sin and death. That is the ultimate plan of God. We who have yearned to breathe free have not been mistaken, because as we yearned to breathe free we were acknowledging the plan of God. Freedom is God’s plan.
However, here and now, in this life, we must put up with maltreatment and disease, poverty and sorrow, disappointments and limitations. But we have gotten over because we believed that God would give us freedom from everything that oppressed us. In His time and in His way, that is what He will do.
In the Christian calendar, today is Transfiguration Sunday. It marks that very special moment when the Lord Jesus and His nature were revealed. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus was transformed from the ordinary to the extraordinary, He was changed from His everyday appearance into a glorious, heavenly appearance. It must have been a wonderful moment, to have seen the glory that God had put into Jesus.
But did you know that Transfiguration applies to us too? Did you know that God is about transforming us too? God wants to take our every-dayness, our ordinariness, and change it into glory. No matter what we look like, no matter where we have come from, no matter what our situation in life is, we can be changed. We can be freed from whatever holds us back now, we can become something more than we now are.
This morning we have planned a unique experience in the Word and words. We will weave Scripture and poetry, speech and sermon, together, and trust that it will demonstrate something about transformation. We will weave the Word of God and other words and create for you a moment of insight about change. We will catch a glimpse of what God wants to do, for each of us. The plan of God is that all should be free.
Now symbols are important. Pictures, images, all these things communicate a great deal. When we read the text about the Transfiguration of Christ, look at the picture presented there. It says that His clothing became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach. That’s an image. That’s a symbol. In the culture of Judaism, whiteness was a symbol of purity. It spoke to them of the glory of God. That’s why we have put up the white altar cloths today. Whenever the church celebrates the glorified Christ, it wears white. It wears white because in the culture in which the church grew up, white was a symbol of purity and glory.
But could it not have been otherwise? Could not other symbols have been chosen? Could not other colors have been selected to show how God transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary? Of course they could. Of course other images could have been chosen. Without question.
The ancient sage who wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes saw this. Despite all the negative feelings he had; despite his weariness with the world, still he is able to say something very positive about what God has done for us: