For six Sundays, many churches in their worship have basked in the light of Epiphany. Next Sunday, March 2, is Transfiguration Sunday. The Gospel reading for Transfiguration Sunday is Matthew 17:1-9:
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
We began the spring academic term seven weeks ago, on January 14, by observing the ancient Epiphany ritual of chalking the door. As we draw near to the end of this season and prepare for Lent, we prepare too for spring break (March 8-16).
A question stirs for me as a theological educator at this time of year as I reflect on the images of the Transfiguration and the journey of Lent: How can I encourage students to develop liturgical practices that will sustain them over a lifetime of pastoral leadership and exploration of God’s love and light? Even as the question stirs, I am working with colleagues to shape course offerings for another semester of study. For me, the work of planning a course calendar happens within the rhythms of the liturgical year. I look forward to announcing in a few weeks fall 2014 courses. I know that these courses will stretch and challenge students—perhaps even transform them—as they continue to prepare to be agents of justice, reconciliation and compassion.
Summer School: The summer school schedule is available to review online. Note that several classes require Permission of Instructor (POI) and may require a separate application or registration. For more information on summer school opportunities, please contact Susan Robinson in the Office of the Academic Dean and read about the advantages of summer coursework here.
Coming Soon: Fall course information!
Blessings for the week ahead,
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Photo by: Ken Bennett, University Photographer; School of Divinity Chapel Service, February 11, 2014