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A Glimpse of Glory

In the Reformed Episcopal Church we observe the Transfiguration of Christ the Sunday before Septuagesima Sunday, which this year will be February 13th. On that day we pray, “O God, who on the mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thine only-begotten Son gloriously Transfigured, in raiment white and glistening; Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may be permitted to behold the King in his beauty; who with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.” (Collect for The Transfiguration of Christ)

From time to time God has seen fit to roll back the veil between time and eternity, and man is given a glimpse of glory. Jacob’s vision of a ladder extending between heaven and earth or St. Paul’s personal experience of being taken up into the third heaven are examples of this phenomenon. On the Mount of Transfiguration Jesus Christ rolled back the veil in the presence of His disciples Peter, James, and John. (read St. Mt. 17:1-13, St. Mk. 9:2-13, or St. Lk. 9:28-36) What was revealed there on the mountain?

The disciples had been with Christ for some time and had learned many things about Him. But this was a revelation that went beyond anything they had ever seen. The disciples never forgot what they saw that night. Years later St. Peter wrote, “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,’ we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.” (II Peter 1:16-18)

We read in the gospel account that Jesus was “transfigured” in the presence of His disciples. The word transfigured in Greek is metamorphotha from which we derive our word metamorphasis. This word means to change form like a caterpillar undergoing a metamorphasis and emerging as a beautiful butterfly. On the mountain for a few moments Christ’s form was changed into something the disciples had never seen before. Christ’s face shone like the sun and His garments even became white as light. Words and physical analogies are inadequate to describe the transformation of Christ that night. The glory of the eternal world was coming through.

The disciples were filled with awe in the presence of the Lord. Jesus is a man, but He is more than a man. He is the Word become flesh. He is the eternal Son of God.

Is it possible for us to receive a glimpse of glory in these days? That is what we pray for in the collect. There have been those who have recorded such experiences of God’s glory and majesty. The great early American preacher Jonathan Edwards wrote of such an experience. “Once, as I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view, that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and man, and his wonderful, great, full, pure and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension. This grace that appeared so calm and sweet, appeared also great above the heavens. The person of Christ appeared ineffably excellent, with an excellency great enough to swallow up all thought and conception - which continued, as near as I can judge, about an hour; which kept me the greater part of the time, in a flood of tears, and weeping aloud. I felt an ardency of soul to be, what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated; to lie in the dust, and to be full of Christ alone; to love him with a holy and pure love, to trust in him; to live upon him; to serve and follow him; and to be perfectly sanctified and made pure, with a divine and heavenly purity. I have, several other times, had views very much of the same nature, and which have had the same effects.”

Blaise Pascal the outstanding mathematician, scientist, and philosopher of the 17th Century recorded his experience in the following words:

In the year of Grace, 1654,
On Monday, 23rd of November...
From about half past ten in the evening
until about half past twelve,
FIRE
God of Abraham, God of Isaac,
God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and scholars.
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling.
Joy. Peace.
God of Jesus Christ.
“My God and your God,”
Forgetfulness of the world and of everything except God.
He is to be found only by the way taught in the Gospel.


On the Mount of Transfiguration and at other times throughout history God has drawn back the veil and given certain believers a glimpse of His glory. This fills the heart of the true believer with hope and encouragement, for we know that at Christ’s return we shall all behold His unvieled glory for eternity. What Peter, James and John experienced on the mount is but a preveiw of what awaits.

by F. M. Levi

Parish News

The Christmas Play was presented Sunday afternoon, Dec. 12, 1999. The church was filled for this play that included both the Sunday School and the Preschool children. We thank the Sunday School teachers, Preschool teachers and others for all their hard work which resulted in a beautiful presentation of the Christmas story.

The annual Christmas Eve Service was observed in the chapel beginning at 11 p.m. on Dec. 24th. The candlelight service of Holy Communion was preceeded this year by a time of refreshments and fellowship in the parish hall.

Family Seminar on Parenting & Disciplining Children

DATE: Feb. 20, 2000
TIME: 1:00 - 3:45 P.M.
PLACE: St. Andrew’s
COST: $5.00 for materials
SEMINAR LEADER: Mr. Donald Albee - experienced parent, pastor, teacher & counselor. Babysitting and refreshments provided. Register by calling the church office.

51st Synod

The 51st Synod of the Diocese of Mid-America will meet at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Houston, Texas, on February 24 & 25, 2000. Do be in prayer for this important gathering.

Domestic Missions

Please pray for the Rev. Canon and Mrs. Dennis Cagle (Jeri) and their children Ashley, Austin, and Chelsea. Christ the King Mission in Atascadero, CA.

Happy Birthday!

Feb. 1 - Anna Zaleski
Feb. 3 - Adele O’Brien
Feb. 9 - Mike Acke, Sr.
Feb. 14 - Edwina Greco
Feb. 23 - Lorie Conn Stultz

WE LOVE OTHERS

Love one another as I have loved you. JOHN 15:12.
Owe no man anything, but to love one another. ROMAN 13:8

BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US

Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep....
I am the Door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved....
I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. JOHN 10:7,9,10.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. JAMES 1:17


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