Bethel International United Methodist Church
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Releasing It Can Set You Aglow

Last Sunday (October 22, 2017) in worship we revisited the transfiguration scene where Jesus was set aglow after having hiked with Peter, James, and John to a place on a high mountain. Scripture says his face “shone like the sun” and his clothes “became a dazzling white” (Matthew 17:1-9). The disciples saw God’s story within him revealed as Moses and Elijah appeared and a commanding voice overshadowed them from a bright cloud.

I posed the question of whether any of us can be transfigured when we live out the Christ story within us. When we go to the edges and serve those who Jesus called “the least of these who are members of my family” (Matthew 25:40). That when we touch the face of Christ, don’t we shine, don’t people notice something dazzling in us?

I introduced Walter Florence in this video clip, a newer member of our church, a person so many are drawn to because of the glow that encompasses him. A fellow that has more than just overcome a profound stroke twenty-one years ago. He has allowed himself to be turned inside out exposing the Jesus within him. As you watch this video clip, know that you are just seeing a snippet of God’s story within him. As an example, when our church joined forces with a “Reading Buddies” program within Columbus Public Schools last year, Walter was one of the first in line and befriended two little third graders at our neighboring Gables Elementary. 

Following the service, I got an email from a long-time member who is a retired United Methodist pastor. Jeff was not only complimentary of the video and the awareness that we can all be transfigured, but he said in leaving the service that “I wish I had a small biographical sketch of all the members of the church.” What he longed for was knowing the God story within many others. It’s there within each of us, revealed in selfless acts of love and mercy. What Jesus promised in his death and resurrection was to live within us as our “Immanuel.” When we release that spirit, we are set aglow, drawing others to us. God’s story in one brings out God’s story in another. And the kingdom is brought at hand.

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