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Stay Right Here- These are the good old days


It’s making me wait….Often associated with the Heinz ketchup commercial in the video clip above, Carly Simon’s song, Anticipation has gone through my mind over and over this week. This Sunday we celebrate the Transfiguration. Anticipation and Transfiguration - same number of syllables. And the song- one can make a few lyric changes and it speaks to the mountain top experience of Peter, James and John in Luke 9:28-36

Luke 9: 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.

Below are the original lyrics to the song with a some notes in itlalics to connect it with the Transfiguration. Perhaps this song will ignite your imagination beyond remembering a ketchup commercial to recalling a moment where you have had your own experience of the glory of God. When have you felt or seen the majesty and mystery of creation? Can you remember a moment where the power and presence of God was so very clear to you?

I invite you to share your experiences and your stories with me, with loved ones, with the world as we never know when that recollection, that memory shared, that moment we recall of the light and love of Christ is exactly the witness, the hope, the spark that another needs to hear.

When Peter suggests they build booths, tents, dwelling places-a cloud comes and overshadows them. They are are terrified and enter the cloud. Peter is interrupted by a voice from a cloud.”this is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” Just before this when Jesus asked his disciples who they say this he is- it is Peter who answers , “Messiah”. (Luke 9:20) So now I invite you to reimagine this song:

We (Peter, James and John and of course us) can never know about the days to come (allow yourself to just let that in- we can never really know…)

But we think about them anyway (so often instead of being where we are- in the actual moment we try to guess the future or project into the future or plan for the future in a way that prevents us from really being present in the moment-fully experiencing the now)

And I wonder if I'm really with you now (the disciples had been sleepy- were they really there with Moses and Elijah beside Jesus? And we wonder also if is Jesus really with us?)

Or just chasin' after some finer day (is the power and presence of God just some wishful thinking? Some chasing after some finer day? When a moment is difficult it can be so easy to think it will last forever or God has abandoned us or….)

Anticipation, anticipation (Transfiguration, Transfiguration)

Is makin' me late ( when we miss fully taking in a moment concerned to move on, rush to the next thing , get over or through what is scary or uncomfortable we miss the gift of the present moment— God’s presence in all times and places not just mountain top moments)

Is keepin' me waitin’ (this will be an ongoing, life long practice to take in the presence of God on the mountaintop and in the deep valleys and all the plains. God with us in the miraculous and the mundane, the ordinary and the extraordinary)

And I tell you how easy it feels to be with you (as Peter, James and John got to listen and learn and travel along with Jesus they still have challenges, doubts and fears so maybe this comes to us as consolation that it may not be so easy and… as we practice, as we listen and take to heart that “my yoke is easy and my burden light” we have those times were there is ease)

And how right your arms feel around me (to be embraced, enveloped, immersed in God’s love- these can be deep breaths and mountain top moments)

But I, I rehearsed those words just late last night

When I was thinkin' about how right tonight might be (on this journey of discipleship we practice, we observe how others have traversed this human journey, and we have those times where we know just how right it is to rely deeply on Jesus)

Anticipation, anticipation

Is makin' me late

Is keepin' me waitin'

And tomorrow we might not be together (Jesus early on speaks of his departure - in the Transfiguration reading the “exodus” is spoken of by Jesus, Moses and Elijah)

I'm no prophet and I don't know nature's ways

So I'll try and see into your eyes right now

And stay right here 'cause these are the good old days (to keep our eyes on Jesus, to focus on the Source of all Love and our very being- allows us to stay right here- in what ever that moment is- joy, fear, glory, mystery, sorrow, beauty, pain- for we are never, ever alone-)

And stay right here 'cause these are the good old days

(These are the good old days)

(These are the good old days)

(These are the good old days)

(These are the good old days)

Next week when Lent begins with Ash Wednesday March 2, 2022 there are many opportunities to have your forehead marked with ashes (we have drive-up/walk-up ashes at the church from 6am-7pm and an Ash Wednesday worship at 7pm)- to remember you are dust and to dust you shall return- may that reminder serve as a blessing; to free you to live each day deeply trusting that these are the good old days, to stay yoked and connected to the God who created you, sustains you and to whom you shall return. These are the good old days- so stay right here.

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