The Transfiguration of Jesus - Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806-1858)

The Transfiguration of Jesus – Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806-1858)

When we speak of ‘the cloud’ these days, we speak about the great digital resource pool available through the internet. Originally ‘the cloud’ was where data could be stored and made accessible to individual computers throughout the world. Increasingly ‘the cloud’ is where even software programmes themselves are stored, rather than taking up precious memory on any individual computer.

In the Christian scriptures, ‘the cloud’ is a symbol of the divine mystery and presence. Recall the pillar of cloud that lead the people of God through the wilderness, and the cloud that descended upon Mount Sinai as Moses was given the stone tablets. This Sunday morning we will complete the season of Epiphany (from the original Greek meaning ‘manifestation’) with another cloud. Peter, James and John see Jesus transfigured with light, Moses talking on one side and Elijah on the other … and ‘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!’ (Matthew 17: 1-8).

In preparation for worship at the beginning of this new week, I have been thinking of these different clouds. And how providential, that being the first Sunday of the month, we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper. Unlike the disciples of old, merely observers of the divine presence in that cloud, by baptism we are united with the Risen Lord, we know ourselves raised into that cloud ourselves, albeit for a time only for a time … If you are in the area, please join us. There is a nursery for infants and a programme for children during the service. And if you can’t be with us, have a look at the inside of the Order of Worship belong, and join us by reflecting upon the passages of scripture and prayers. After all, it is not only the transfiguration of Christ we celebrate, but by the grace of God the transfiguration of Christians in the cloud of God’s presence and love …

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