In the life of the church, this weekend marks a culmination and begins a turn. For many congregations, the season of Epiphany concludes this Sunday which is the last Sunday before the season of Lent. The readings of many congregations will include Matthew 17:1-9 which tells of the events of the Transfiguration — a mystical and powerful event in which Jesus’ glory is revealed to his disciples “…and he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light” (Matthew 18:2). During Jesus’ transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus, and in Luke’s account of the same event, Jesus spoke with them of his own exodus or “departure.”
The Transfiguration marks the turn in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. For, from this moment on, the tension in the gospels increases and Jesus confronts the unbelief and resistance of Israel’s leaders. As he presses on their lack of faithfulness, Jesus presses forward to Jerusalem and ultimately the work he came to finish on the cross and in his resurrection.
Following Epiphany, the church has historically marked the season prior to Easter with a 40 day fast called “Lent.” As if to mirror Jesus’ fast and temptation in the wilderness or his pressing to Jerusalem and the cross following his Transfiguration, many Christians begin the season by confessing (or “shreeving”) their sin on Shrove Tuesday and humbling themselves by being marked with ashes on Ash Wednesday. The GPC Lent Brochure is available for you, if you’d like to learn more or seek out some resources as to how you may want to mark the season.
At Grace Kernersville, we will be marking the season several ways.
- Firstly, in many of the houses that will fast through the Lent season, Shrove Tuesday is a day in which larders and pantries are emptied of their holiday leftovers — sugar, flour, butter, eggs, etc…. It must’ve seemed that the best way to do this expediently was to make pancakes. Some people call the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. For many it has become Pancake Tuesday. Grace will be hosting its own Pancake Tuesday dinner at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall on February 25. I hope you can join us.
- Another way in which Grace members will be marking the season is through a weekly Tuesday book study at Noon at the Paddison Memorial Library in Kernersville OR a Wednesday evening potluck book study at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall on C.S. Lewis’ book, The Last Battle, which is the last book in his Chronicles of Narnia series. The Wednesday night study begins on February 26 and the Tuesday Noon study begins on March 3. Speak with Pastor Randy if you have questions. We’ll be reading three chapters a week, and we will begin with discussing the first three chapters.
- Lastly, artist, Keaton Sapp will be installing an art exhibit through the season of Lent entitled, The Stations of the Cross. Beginning with the first Sunday of Lent and continuing each week through Easter Sunday, Keaton will be installing art work which will take us through the final day of Jesus’ earthly ministry. This exhibit will be completely installed on Easter Sunday. The exhibit will be used on Holy Thursday and Good Friday as a Stations of the Cross exhibit by which you may come, view the artwork, reflect on the accompanying scriptures, and remember what Jesus endured for us.
Though marked with a somberness, I have come appreciate marking this season with Grace and with the community. I hope you can join us!