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Transfiguration Sunday – Power (Ps 2 & 99)


In this week’s two Psalm texts, we see God being handled like dynamite that’s about to go KABLOOEY (Ps 2.9,11; 99.1). The lesson here is not that God is unstable like nitroglycerin; but rather that, in terms of raw power, there’s a BIG difference between God and humanity. In the face of the Infinite, the finite is infinitely relativized. This is why our Father finds it funny when human kings plot against Him (2.2-4). It’s like a Kleenex plotting against a nuclear bomb. You just can’t help but giggle a little.

It is THIS power-of-all-powers that is ascribed to the one who ascends the holy mountain, the one to whom the Father says, “You are my son” (2.6-7). The supreme shock of Transfiguration Sunday is that this one is Jesus. Here on the holy hill, the enemies of God find that the “avenger of their wrongdoings” is also “a forgiving God to them” (99.8). The one whose “wrath is quickly kindled” (2.11) is the one who is so non-violent that he will not snuff out a smoldering candlewick. He does indeed shatter his enemies like pottery (2.9b), but he does it by becoming shattered himself. His “rod of iron” (2.9) is a wooden stake stained with his own blood. As we share in the mountain experience of Peter and James and John, we discover along with them that Power is not what we thought it was.

(The Shack Bible Lectionary – Year A)

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