February 1, 2014
"And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses who were talking with Jesus." - Mark 9:2-8
When reading this passage, do you wonder what Jesus, Elijah, and Moses said to each other?
The symbolism of Moses, the lawgiver and symbol of the law, and Elijah, the prophet and symbol of the ancient prophets, in dialog with Jesus says something important for us today. It reminds us that the law is not irrelevant, and neither are the writings of the prophets. Both are best understood in communication with each other and with God's exciting new revelation for the world.
It also reminds me of Pete Kaprowski, from Pilgrim UCC in Cleveland, Ohio. When a new, young pastor came to the church and introduced all sorts of new ideas, Pete struggled with and against many of them--especially Open and Affirming (ONA), which affirmed the full inclusion of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered persons in the life of the church. When I interviewed Pete near the end of his life, he said he was grateful that his church had not left him behind in his old thinking, no matter how difficult it had been for him to see the world and hear God's call differently. Pete became an ardent supporter of the things he had once struggled against.
The last time I saw Pete, much older then, he had been brought to church that Sunday by two gay men in the congregation who were among the many caring people at Pilgrim UCC who helped look after him.
Gracious God, I want to be like Pete, not left behind, stuck in old thinking, limited spirituality, outmoded ideas, and anger that prevent me from fully engaging the life and work you have for me. I want a bright life of perpetual transformation. With your divine power, please inform and transform me. Amen.
About the Author
Ron Buford is the former coordinator of the UCC's God is still speaking campaign and appears in the DVD-based progressive theology series, Living the Questions 2.0
Ms. Christina Villa
Director of Publishing, Identity & Communication
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Cleveland, Ohio 44115