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Transfiguration--and Transformation

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Some traditions have just celebrated the feast of the Transfiguration when atop a mountain outside of Jerusalem Jesus’ clothes “became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them” (Mark 9: 3 NIV). The ancients didn’t have chlorine bleach (the process wasn’t discovered until the time of the American Revolution), and any whitening of fabric or filaments was done by “fuller’s soap,” a mixture of soda ash, olive oil and alkaline salt (see Micah 3:2). It took months.

Atop that mountain, Jesus was visited by Elijah and Moses, representing the law and the prophets, joined in the person of the Son of Man. His companions, Peter, James and John wanted to crystalize that moment, building booths of permanence, symbolizing their understanding that Jesus was God’s beloved Son and that we should listen to Him. Jesus would have none of it.

Instead, Jesus and His disciples descended the mountain and were met by the father of an epileptic son. The disciples couldn’t heal him, but Jesus rebuked the demon and the boy was healed (Luke 9:37-42). None of the Gospels tells how, whether with a poultice, a breath or simply words, but the imagery is unmistakable: purity transforms. That which is impure simply recycles the germs.

Transfiguration–and Transformation

by David G. Duggan ©
February 11, 2024

I just bought some new sheets. As the grandson of a textile company executive I haven’t had to buy a lot of linens in my life. I once remarked that on my tombstone I wanted: “Here lies my servant Dave. He never bought a towel. My Son he came to save. From hell’s forbidding bowel.”

Against the manufacturer’s advice, I add chlorine bleach to the laundry soap. This may make the sheets whiter, more germ-free, fresher smelling which sounds like a decent trade-off against their shorter lifespan but does that trade-off also mask a fact of our existence: we were born from the salt of the earth and to earth we will return.

Sunday, February 11, 2024
Monday, March 11, 2024


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    • Twinflame1111


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