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The embrace of the cross: February 18.

Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)

This week's lections tell the story of Jesus' transfiguration. We recall this mountaintop experience just before Lent because it foreshadows crucifixion and resurrection--the time of trial and the time of glory. The three disciples who accompany Jesus to the summit--Simon Peter, James, and John--are the three he first called. Luke is helping us realize that we will not always understand where we'll end up when we follow Jesus.

My academic work takes me deep into the theology and ideology of the civil rights movement, whether it is W.E.B. DuBois' double-consciousness, Pauli Murray's prototypical womanism, King's pacifism, Malcohn X's nationalism, or Black Power's humanism. What I find valuable in all these perspectives is the intensity of transformation inherent in their work to "transfigure" the face of human existence in this country. This Lenten season, I want to journey with travelers who have acted with great boldness (2 Corinthians 3:12) and whose lives help me discover anew where and how God's spirit frees us from fear to take risks--like Jesus--in the name of gospel love and just love.

Three days after we remember Jesus in a blaze of glory, some of us will display a cross on our foreheads. In her novel Paradise, writer Toni Morrison reminds us that the cross--the vertical line and the horizontal line--is primordial. It doesn't just represent suffering and sacrifice; the cross is "the human figure poised to embrace."
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Title Annotation:Living the Word: Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle C
Author:Berry, Malinda Elizabeth
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Feb 1, 2007
Previous Article:A reformation of love: February 11.
Next Article:Space for God: February 25.

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