|Studying the Transfiguration.|
In Venezuela, dates are written day/month/year, rather than month/day/year as in the United States. But on the first Sunday of this month, that distinction did not matter, as it was 02/02/2020 either way. Not only that, but the date could be read the same way from left to right or right to left. This was the first such “palindrome day” in 909 years and the only one that will occur in this century.
Of course, Sunday also was Groundhog Day (the prediction is an early spring) and the first time the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl in 50 years.
For us, however, it was Transfiguration Sunday. Epiphany season is all about the light of Christ. The Magi saw it in the Star of Bethlehem. Three of the disciples, Peter, James and John, saw one last vision of it before the darkness of Gethsemane.
. “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, this is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:16-21
|Baptism of Jesus.|
Just three of the apostles were taken to the top of the mountain where they saw the light of Christ made visible and audibly heard the voice of the Father. But our faith does not depend on mountaintop experiences, but rather the Holy Spirit speaking to us in the clear Word of the Scriptures.
Likewise the sacraments. As at the Transfiguration, the Father’s voice said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him” at the baptism of Jesus, which was our theme for the first Sunday after Epiphany. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are present at the baptism of every Christian.
Please pray for us
Well, January 2020 was a month that got people talking about end-time texts, what with earthquakes in Puerto Rico and other parts of the world, wildfires in Australia and floods in Indonesia.
We continue to pray for the victims of these natural disasters. We would ask you to pray for us as Venezuela already is in the midst of a public health crisis due to shortages of medicines, and is not prepared to face the threat of a new virus from China. Venezuela was hit hard by the last great pandemic, the Spanish flu of 1918.
Our preschool is back in session, but of 31 children enrolled, eight have at least one parent who has left Venezuela to find better-paying work abroad. Please pray for the restoration of united families.
Heavenly Father, bring relief to all who suffer this day. Ease the anxieties of those who are distressed. Send help to those who are distraught. Graciously defend all from fire and flood, war and pestilence, hunger and want. Deliver us from our trials that we may be free to give You thanks and praise. Amen.