“The Times They Are A-Changin”
A Sermon by the Rev. Cheryl McFadden
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Last Sunday after the Epiphany – Transfiguration “The Times They Are a-Changin”
In the Name of God, the Creator, Jesus, the Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, the Sustainer. Amen.
This Sunday is referred to as Transfiguration Sunday because as Jesus was praying, his face changed, his clothes became dazzling white, and Moses and Elijah appeared and were talking with him. The change in Jesus and the appearance of the other powerful men was so stupendous that Peter offers to make three dwelling places for each of them. Peter is misinterpreting what is important. But leave it to God Almighty to set Peter straight. God tells Peter and his companions to listen to his Son, the Chosen. God is not discounting the work of the other two men, but God is clearly telling Peter who is the One he should be attentive to, who is the One he should be listening to now. I want this morning to focus on the concept of transfiguration or in the words of Bob Dylan, “The Times are a-Changin.”
Transfiguration means to change in form or appearance. In this passage, Jesus’ appearance changes so a glimpse is given of his full heavenly glory. We also see this in Revelation when Jesus returns, aptly named, “The Second Coming.” Moses and Elijah are seen because they represent The Law and The Prophets, respectively. They are important but they are not as important as Jesus. Things have transfigured, things have changed. I know that many of you all understand this concept. Before you had a partner or children, your life probably focused on your personal and professional life. You thought about what you wanted to do, where you wanted to go, what you wanted in life. Your desires may have considered another person but primarily you focused on your needs and wants. Am I right? And then you got married or made a life commitment to another person and things changed. No longer could you consider just your needs and wants. You had to consider equally the needs and wants of your life partner. Then when you had children whether biological or adoptive, things really changed. You had to focus on the needs and wants of your life and those of the child given to you by God to love and to care for until the child becomes an adult. Things began to transfigure into a new reality. Again, to quote Bob Dylan, “The Times Are a-Changin.”
There are two points that I would like to make about this process of transfiguration that is occurring in your life right now. First and foremost, even though life as you know it has changed, you are part of that equation. You need to remember that you are also changing, and I would venture that the change is for the good. You are reaching inward and drawing out the love inside of you and sharing it with your life partner and your child or children. This is transfiguring, this is life changing but there is a catch. You must take care of your needs and wants before you can care for others. You must fill up your tank with life giving and sustaining things. No junk food. You must care for yourself in a way that enables you to share God’s holy and boundless love with others.
The second point is that you must be aware that your life partner and your child or children are changing as well. It is important that you allow them to fill their tank with life giving and sustaining things and you allow and encourage them to become the person God created them to be. This is where you must let go of your concept of what you want them to be and allow the Holy Spirit to work her magic inside of them. I love Bob Dylan’s song, The Times Are a- Changin” because it speaks to the reality of life. The fourth stanza specifically speaks to parents. Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand Your sons and your daughters Are beyond your command Your old road is rapidly agin’ Please get out of the new one If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’
Dylan’s song tells us as parents that we need to understand that our road, our path, is “agin” and that if we cannot lend a hand to our children on their road, their path, we need to get out of the way, “For the times they are a-changin.”
So, remember; point one – you are being changed and it is a good thing. Point two, your children are changing and that is good, too – allow it to happen as you walk with them at the beginning of their journey. In the Gospel, God is telling Peter, his companions, and all of us that Jesus is the new road. Jesus is the new reality, and it is our job to listen to him and allow the Holy Spirit to work with our lives and the lives of our children. It’s this simple. “The Times Are a- changin” and we are all being transfigured into new beings. Amen.