Nothing Stays the Same … The Biblical narrative begins with a cosmic transformation. Chaos is contained and given order at creation. Darkness is balanced with daylight. With the fashioning of human beings, God is “finished” … Humankind sits at the apex of divine creativity. But here, the true work of transformation begins. What will define “the good life”? Who will determine the laws and commands by which human beings will live in community together?
The first eleven chapters of the Bible are tumultuous. Along with creation, there is temptation, sin and murder. There are multiple languages and floods. Towers are built with the idolatrous intent that humans will inhabit the heavens. Creation seems once again to disintegrate into chaos and confusion.
Then, along comes Abram. And with a call that seems to foreshadow Jesus’ cryptic command to Follow me, Abram hears from God, (immediately?) gets up, takes his family and their possessions and leaves home for a new land. The grand pilgrimage of faith has begun. And with that pilgrimage there comes a transformation – a “metamorphosis” that occurs over time. A relative ‘nobody’ becomes a set-apart ‘Somebody’ – God’s instrument of blessing and hope. It is a change that will continue to occur throughout the history of Israel. The metamorphosis will spread beyond a specific ethnicity, and so powerful will its force be that in a much later text we read the line: “Once you were no people. Now you are God’s people!” (I Peter 2:10).
Do we understand what has happened? Jesus, transfigured among us, is like the speck of yeast in the dough – because of what Christ has experienced and because of who he is, everything has changed. Now, we can truly know who we are.
Video from Weekend Virtual Lenten Retreat: Jesus in the Wilderness
Post in the UM Reporter: The Skeptic Pastor