Hello everyone! Today is a very special day as it is our 12th wedding anniversary, so yesterday I bought a M&S Madeira Butterfly cake for our anniversary, which seems to me to symbolise how marrying my beloved me released me from my caterpillar existence and allowed me to fly as a butterfly!
Today it is a beautiful very cold day; it is lovely to see the almost cloudless blue sky! It seemed very appropriate for today, where we remember the transfiguration of Jesus; a day like today is so bright and sunny but nothing like Jesus was when he was transfigured. In his talk to the children David asked what was the biggest number they could imagine, and when they did not know, he asked if they could imagine 10 oranges and we all agreed we could. We could also imagine 100 oranges, which I found myself dividing in my mind into 4 to make it easier to visualise. He then asked if we could visualise 10 or 100 people, or even the numbers at church today, which we all agreed we could. Then he asked if we went to some large event such as a football match and therefore could imagine such a large crowd of people; some of us could. However none of us could imagine seeing more than 7 Billion people i.e. the whole population of the world!! It was just too big to imagine!
The service opened with the rousing hymn by Caroline Noel; At the Name of Jesus, which set the scene for the exploration of the Glory of God. Our second hymn reflected the theme of God’s glory as we sang, in expectation of the imminent arrival of the Glory of the Lord at the second coming, Glory, glory, alleluia! Glory, glory, alleluia! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Our God is marching on!! It made us feel uplifted to a different realm as we rejoiced in God. After the Bible readings we sang one of the hymns from our new hymn book called ‘Singing the Faith.’ The words described the experience of the disciples at the Mount of Transfiguration; namely:
‘Jesus, on the mountain peak,
stands alone in glory blazing.
Let us, if we dare to speak,
join the saints and angels praising:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! By Brian Wren
David Hunt our Deacon was leading the service and he said that he had celebrated a significant day in his life, when he and Gail celebrated 33 years of marriage last Friday. Was his wedding day his special moment or was it on 18th May the previous year, when he had proposed and she had replied, ‘What do you think?’ Was the day that changed his life the day he met her, although he could not remember exactly when that was. Only as he looked back could he see that the decision to marry Gail had changed his life and therefore had added significance!
The disciples would not have known that on that occasion, when they accompanied Jesus up the mountain to pray, that something inexplicable would happen. As they prayed with him they saw Jesus suddenly transformed and shining with the glory of God and they became aware of Moses and Elijah and felt totally overwhelmed; Peter even suggested building shelters for Moses and Elijah as he did not know what to say. After God spoke confirming Jesus as his Son, suddenly everything was back to normal and only Jesus was there. They could not understand what had happened and Jesus told them to tell no one, maybe as he knew they would only understand in retrospect after he had risen from the dead. When he spoke of his resurrection they did not understand, but mulled things over only realising that it had been a life changing experience, when they looked back at the events later. That is why we need significant anniversaries to remember when our lives were changed. After Jesus had risen from the dead they then understood what the transfiguration had meant. They had been given a glimpse of God’s glory shown in Jesus, confirming him as God’s son. They could have only coped with a glimpse as the full glory would have been too much! David compared such a glimpse to a sitting room with a new sofa, where the curtains are kept drawn to protect the sofa from being faded by the bright sun; maybe if windows are kept open then as the breeze blows some glimpses of sunlight will be seen from time to time. He described his drive to the service from Knaresborough to our chapel, when he had to shade his eyes from the brightness of the sun. Too much brightness of the sun can overwhelm us. We cannot fully understand God, nor describe him with any words adequate enough to do him justice and would be overwhelmed if his full glory was constantly with us.
Well for me today, as I look back there have been many significant moments in my Christian journey, when I have had those glimpses of God’s glory which I can look back on, I feel encouraged especially at times when I have struggled in my faith. Today being our anniversary has given me further significant life changing moments to look back. The day I met him was March 31st 1999 but it was only the next day I found out it was indeed the Malcolm my sister knew. I enjoyed talking with him but we both fell in love in June 1999 and got engaged in August, both significant dates as I look back and then of course got married the following year on this day. Being married to my beloved has deepened my faith, as he has supported me through a breakdown, showed me unconditional love, which in turn has made me understand much more of God’s all embracing love for me. Falling in love with and marrying my beloved have indeed changed my life! This is the day that the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad in it.
Malcolm has posted three poems for Helen on his Sinna Luvva blog