Reflection for Sunday – March 13, 2022
Readings: Genesis 15: 5-12, 17-18; Philippians 3: 17- 4:1; Luke 9: 28b-36
Preacher: Nancy J. DeRycke
Remember times in your life, growing up or as an adult when you needed a “guiding light?”
In this Transfiguration story that we hear every 2nd Sunday of Lent, Jesus goes up the mountain to pray, to sort things out as he struggles with the wisdom of going to Jerusalem or not. His buddies, Peter, James and John, were not enough to help him this time—he needed something or someone more.
Who came to him in his prayer? Moses, a reluctant leader of his people, and Isaiah, a wise respected prophet. They were the guiding lights he must have needed to support him and give him courage and wisdom to keep going, to make the tough choices and decisions.
And I’m sure that, not just Peter James and John, but also Jesus, would have wanted to stay safe up on the mountain where there would be surety and the comfort and assurance of the ancestors who he admired and treasured.
What about you and me? When we take time to ponder, whether it’s on a “mountain to pray” or as we settle into bed at night or wake up in the morning or the middle of the night sorting out something in our life, who are our “leaders” or “prophets” who come to mind and heart? I think of mentors, people I’ve looked up to, whose wisdom I appreciated—teachers, friends, my parents, past and present colleagues. Maybe something they’ve said inspired me or made something clearer in my thinking. Maybe it’s a silent plea to ask for their help and wisdom in a current situation: “Mom, what would you do?” “____, please help me know what I should do or not do!”
Maybe that was Jesus’ experience, too, as he prayed alone while others slept and went on with their lives…
I recently came across a “Disturbance Prayer” that might be akin to what Jesus was seeking wisdom about while he connected with his guiding lights, his spiritual supports. It is a reverse of the Prayer of St. Francis ( “Make me a channel of Your peace…”). Perhaps this is what you and I have asked for from our own wisdom elders or “guiding lights,” whether they are living now or alive still in our hearts. Or maybe you or I can be a guiding light for someone else struggling with direction or choices or in need of wisdom or courage or guidance:
“Lord, make me a channel of disturbance. Where there is apathy, let me provoke.
Where there is compliance, let me bring questioning. Where there is silence, let me be a voice.
Where there is too much comfort and too little action, Grant disruption.
Where there are doors closed and hearts locked, Grant the willingness to listen.
When laws dictate and pain is overlooked… When tradition speaks louder than need…
Grant that I may seek rather to do justice than talk about it;
Disturb us, O God.
To be with as well as for, the poor; To love the hard-to-love as well as the lovely;
Make me a channel of disturbance.”
(attributed to Sir Francis Drake, shared by Parson Carson)
As we go through life and climb our own mountains, or help others climb theirs, may we be both a “Channel of God’s Peace” and a “Channel of Disturbance,” with the wisdom and encouraging Light to know the difference….