While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
Matthew 17: 5
Much like the voice from the cloud, I too have a beloved son. Yet it is my beloved daughter that sparked my thoughts when I read this passage from the Transfiguration account. Anything about the Transfiguration makes me feel good because I find the image an awesome confirmation that God is alive in the world; then and now. Also, I really affirm the idea of parents supporting and proclaiming the achievements and trustworthiness of their children when those achievements lead to a better world.
It is my daughter’s birthday in a few days, thus my focus on the parent/child relationship of today’s verse. (This year celebrations will be subdued, but there will be cake!) She is the same age Jesus was when God spoke about him from the bright cloud. Like God I know what it feels like to see one’s children grow into caring, responsible adults. This journey of parenthood has brought about some of my most profound understandings of God. I used to joke that motherhood was just the best continuing education experience of my career.
In his reflection at the zoom online Service on Christmas Eve, Norman Smith reminded us that the Bible presents many images of God. God as father/parent is one that I have come to appreciate and respect.
As my children grew into adulthood I began to see some of myself in them. And when those traits led to goodness in the lives of the people around them I began to hold my own head higher, realizing that I too could be a source of goodness for others. God as parent sees the greatness in all of us, because we are all beloved children of the creator. Sure, we are all different and reflect different characteristics, but they are all respected by the voice from the cloud. We are all cherished just as the first born beloved son is cherished. As we do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8), like our brother Jesus, we reflect the goodness that is God alive in our world.
Prayer: We pray to the Father of the Beloved Son and of us, his many beloved brothers and sisters. We thank you for the life experience images which speak to us of your truths and your love. May your Spirit empower the images of You that we each carry within us so that we may work for the goodness of all people.
Action: Hug yourself. Know that you are a beloved child of God. Let the image of God shine through you in acts of kindness and support, even if all that that means right now is just staying home.