Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, August 07, 2017

Transfiguration on Sunday - Rector's Rambling for August 6, 2017

Last week we got a chance to have a special celebration by having our Founders’ Day.  This week it is the Church Calendar that gives us the opportunity to have a special celebration.
August 6 is the Feast of the Transfiguration, and because it falls on a Sunday this year, we get to celebrate it instead of the 8th Sunday after Trinity.  All Feasts of Our Lord have “Precedence” over most regularly appointed Sundays, such as Sundays after Trinity.  If you want to see which special days have priority then you can turn to pages l and li in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer for the Tables and Rules for the Movable and Immovable Feasts.
In June of 1993 I stood on the “high mountain” that tradition says is the location of today’s biblical event.  It is Mount Tabor – overlooking the plain and mound of Megiddo (supposed to be the location of the last apocalyptic battle – Armageddon comes from Har (mound) Megiddo.  Across the valley is the town of Nazareth where Jesus was raised, and from whose precipice Jesus was threatened to be thrown after reading the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah in the scrolls of the prophet Isaiah, and proclaiming it fulfilled in their hearing.
On the top of Mount Tabor is a lovely 1920s church that replaced a destroyed 12th century Crusader-built church built over the ruins of a destroyed 4th century Byzantine church.  But it is around back, in the gardens, that one gets a sense of what it may have been like in Jesus’ time, to see Him as His divinity shined through his human flesh.  Jesus is alone with the core group of disciples who get a glimpse of what has been called a pre-Resurrection Resurrection appearance.  Even if Peter gets it wrong (again) they did figure out eventually that it is Jesus alone who is worthy of worship, and we do today.