Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.


Sunday 17th March 2019
Second Sunday of Lent, Year C
Genesis 15: 5-12, 17-18     Philippians 3:17 - 4:1     Luke 9: 28-36

Looking for a Sign.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time.” How many times have we heard someone say this? It’s usually when they walked straight into a disaster with their eyes closed. But sometimes it really was a good idea. It’s just that the passing of time makes it harder to be as enthusiastic about it as previously.

This must have been true for Abraham. Full of trust, he set out from his home on a trek that seemed sheer madness, all because God promised him land and descendants. When later he found himself poised to kill his son with a knife, he must have had second thoughts.

Or Moses. Full of the joys of spring he comes from the mountain, having met God and struck a deal. Then when the complaints start flying from the Israelites and the Pharaoh is on his back, he too must have wondered what he had got himself into.

Little did Peter, James and John think that the Transfiguration was only the start of their problems. They were so amazed at what they saw – especially Peter – that they wanted it to last for ever. They had shared in a special way in God’s glory. Of course, it was for that reason that they were destined to suffer; there is no glory without the cross. And it was the memory of those events on the top of the mountain which would later keep them going.

So too with us. The Transfiguration story which comes towards the beginning of Lent reminds us of just what is on offer. If we are prepared to follow Jesus, then we will share in that glory which is his as the beloved ‘chosen one’. As we travel on our Lenten journey, we keep the promise before our eyes.

But like Abraham, Moses and the apostles, we too have moments – not to mention years – when it can be difficult to hold on to this belief. Things happen in our lives which shake us to the foundations and make us question what our lives and our faith are all about.

That’s when our faith is really put to the test, when it stops being a cosy Creed and has to be an act of trust which we live by. In those times we need very clear signs to point us in the direction of Christ’s promises. That’s what the Transfiguration is for.




Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2019