a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state
- Being created in the image and likeness of God, how has God revealed Godself through you? What has been your safe spaces or “mountain tops” to reveal who you really are and appear in all your God-given glorious splendor? What are some of the responses you have received to your “transfiguration,” revelation or “coming-out?”
- Peter, John, and James were awakened to God’s beauty. God’s beauty wasn’t new, but their seeing was. Does a Gospel passage like this one allow you to celebrate your true LGBTQ colors even if others have yet to wash away “the scales from their eyes” to “see” and recognize you? (Acts 9:18)
- “The disciples were silent, telling nothing of what they had seen.” The transfiguration experience needs neither explanation nor understanding, just presence and silence to process its full wonder. As an LGBTQ person or ally are you able to reveal who you are without explanations and justifications? If so, how have you been able to reach such a mountaintop where you can reveal yourself? If not, what mountains do you feel you still have to climb to get to where you want to be? Does prayer help you on your journey?
- Immediately following the story of the transfiguration is a story of disfiguration – the story of the demon-possessed boy. Are there times when you look at yourself, or your life, and don’t like what you see or have become? Do you say things like – “I’m just not myself,” “that’s not me,” or “how did my life get to this point?” In times like these when you feel you have lost the connection with the original beauty of your LGBTQ creation (or perhaps fallen asleep to the beauty within yourself, others, and the world) how do you “awaken” yourself? Have you ever experienced Jesus’ healing and restoration at these times of disfigurement?
- Is the Eucharist, with its insistence on the physical body and on community, a sacred space for you? How can you bring others from the LGBTQ community to this liturgical mountaintop to experience Jesus in these ways?
In 2005, Patty Griffin, an American singer-songwriter wrote a song tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Titled “Up to the Mountain,” it captures much of Dr. King’s spirit of perseverance from his 1968 speech “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” While his speech, one of the last he delivered, rings with his powerful oratory, Griffin’s song is softer and feels more like a prayer asking for God’s strength to persevere.
The song in the video, sung by Charlene Carmon, invites people to come up to the mountain, despite its challenges, to discover God’s hidden graces, blessings, and learnings. (The lyrics of the song begin at 2:12, after a long instrumental introduction.)