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2022 Lenten Devotional - Roberto J. Rodriguez-Cartagena on Luke 9:28-36

Luke 9:28-36 (NRSV)

28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 36 When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.


Witnessing Jesus’s transfiguration, his glory, essence, and dazzling white clothes, can only be a transformative experience. Our personal encounter with him comes with a significant shift in our lives. From a place of hate, to a place of love. From a place of rejection, to a place of acceptance. From a place of division, to a place of unity. Who would not like to make a dwelling in such a place? Peter did. However, down the mountain, a world with real-life challenges and struggles awaited him. Making a dwelling in the mountain would have kept him from taking the power of Jesus’s transfiguration down to a society in need. It was time for Peter to pay his blessing forward in service to others. Similarly, the world that surrounds us calls for those who have experienced the impact of knowing Jesus and have witnessed his glory. Every blessing, every miracle, every provision we have received from God should not be kept to ourselves. We have been blessed to bless our neighbors. In a world in which, every day, more wedges are drawn within humanity, we can bless others by loving unconditionally. In a world in which many are discriminated, we can bless by accepting and creating inclusive environments. In a world in which many do not have a home, or a meal, we can bless by giving generously. During this Lent season, it is important to reflect on how we are experiencing God’s glory and blessings. But, how can we pay these blessings forward and give back to the world in which we have been established?

--- Roberto J. Rodriguez-Cartagena

A Prayer:

God of all creation,

as a hen gathers her chicks together,

so we gather here to worship

within the safety and warmth of your wings.

We look to you to know what righteousness is.

We listen to you that we might know which path to take.

Open our eyes through the miraculous and the mundane

and our ears to the regular and extraordinary,

so that we may follow you well.

May we see your promises more brightly than we do the stars

and hear your good news more clearly

than the noise that inhabits our lives.

We are here, God, watching and listening.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


“I came to the Church years ago, looking for a community that was progressive, justice-minded, and open to creative worship.  I stayed because I've felt loved and supported by the community:  through good times (my wedding) and bad (the loss of several family members).  I'm proud that our community has evolved over time to meet new needs, from serving Czech immigrants over a century ago, to our homeless outreach program today.” 

From Our Worshiping Community

—  Debbie

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