Transformed ….. - Reflection by Canon Mike
Read Canon Mike's reflection for Shrove Tuesday, 16 February, 2021.
Well, it’s another Shrove Tuesday and a gateway into our period of Lent. I hope wherever you might be, you are able to enjoy some form of pancakes – perhaps like the ones in the photo above. My culinary skills don’t extend to creating my own and taking a photo of them…..but we will see what the local store has in store, so to speak! My favourite ‘topping’ is still one of the traditional ones – that of sugar and lemon! What’s yours, I wonder?
I still can’t believe that nearly a year has passed in this strange place that we are in. Thinking about it, Shrove Tuesday, made me reminisce to last year – when we held a Friends event in the cathedral in the evening together. A fascinating talk was given by our good friend Zia Chaudhry (@JustYAMuslim), (director of the LJMU Foundation for Citizenship), on being “Just your average Muslim”, following his excellent book published under the same name. A great speaker and great questions, followed by great pancakes too which we thoroughly enjoyed alongside the lovely fellowship which so naturally comes from the Friends of Liverpool Cathedral. Sadly, as was the case back then, I had to leave early since I was booked on the 5:30 am train to London the next day, for media training with my institute, the British Institute of Radiology. Although exhausting, one can actually yearn for such outings in these present times.
But these present times will not go on forever. The gift of the vaccines, through the God given gifts of our global scientists, bring some light at the end of a very long tunnel. A tunnel through which we have all been transformed, in some way or another, across the globe. Transformed in ways some of us could not have thought of this time last year; for some transformed into new ways of working and artistry, for some transformed in new experiences of technology and outreach; for some, sadly, transformed in ways we would not wish - through the loss of life and loved ones; through the change of livelihoods; through worries and anxieties which we must not overlook….but instead bring more fervently into our prayers..
The positive aspects of transformation, though, are there for all of us as Christians, to see and to witness to – sometimes even in the darker times. It is one of the joys of our faith, the support and comfort which can come through the gift of the spirit – often expressed through our humanity, our hands, our words, our eyes. Transformation of an inner self which allows us to cry out, Jesus is Lord; and to express his love for us through the gifts and talents that we have been given; through our care and compassion; through our outreach and outcry; through our prayers in joy and sorrow. A transformation which can take place daily within our very selves when we wake with our Lord, dedicate the day and what is before us through prayer, ask for God’s guidance for every part of our day.
Last Sunday’s gospel brought us Mark’s account of the transfiguration – Mark 9:2-9. When our Lord himself was transformed, transfigured before the eyes of faithful disciples Peter and James and John. Lives which themselves had been transformed, no doubt, throughout Jesus’ ministry in Galilee and all the miraculous things they saw and encountered. Transformed again there on that mountain top – where Jesus himself changes before their very eyes, and their ears ring with the divine approval of “This is my Son, the beloved; listen to him!” Transformed again…..since from this point forward, Jesus’ focus is on Jerusalem, and the sacrifice he must make; to die for us, that our lives and souls may be transformed through eternal life.
So take us Lord and transform us, daily. In these hard times, fill us each day afresh with your spirit – that from wherever we might be, we can see the needs of your creation around us; and others can see in us, the joy of faith and love and peace that comes through our Saviour Jesus Christ. As we step forward, slowly, into a new place, a transformed place, may we continue to show your Good News to our neighbours and friends – that they may see you in us and we might see you in them.
With my love and prayers for you all; God bless you and go gently…with the transforming love of God in your hearts.
Canon Mike 😊
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