Deborah Rundlett is the pastor of Ridgebury Congregational Church, CT, and Director of The Meetinghouse, a place to gather, grow and flourish.

Scripture: Matthew 17:2 (NRSV)

And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became bright as light.


Reflection: Transfigured!


What a moment—Jesus transfigured on the mountaintop! Literally changed before the eyes of Peter and James and John, face shining like the sun, his clothing white as light. And he wasn’t alone: there were two men with him, two men they had never seen before, yet somehow the disciples knew who they were.

Peter’s first response is to offer to build three booths to provide shelter for Jesus, Moses and Elijah. He was trying to be helpful, even as he sought to contain his anxiety over the sight before him. [In fairness, there was precedent. The booths, or tabernacles, had been used in the wilderness to contain the Holy One. Peter, whether consciously or not, wanted to contain these three awe-inspiring (read terrifying) figures.]

But before he could do anything, “a cloud came out and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, my chosen, listen to him!’”

Whey they finally had the courage to look up, “they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.” No cloud. No voice. No Moses. No Elijah. Jesus only. There was no need for booths. Nor was there any need to contain them. They could not be contained.

Revelation is like that. There is that moment when heaven and earth meet, when chronos and kairos time intersect, and you enter that “thin place.” Revelation brings with it ambivalence and uncertainty, possibility and potential danger. This is the way that new vision is born: when we are left with Jesus only.

He was all the disciples needed. He is all any of us ever need, but all too often we find his presence overwhelming. We don’t know how to respond. So we try to contain him, like Peter, but not always in a booth; we try to compartmentalize God into the structures of our day. If we are to learn anything from the Transfiguration, it is that we cannot contain God. God’s revelation will prevail. We need only trust ourselves, our very lives, to God’s care and call.


Living Prayer: The Heart of Worship

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—
this is true worship.”
(Romans 12:1).

Let us seek the heart of worship which is to know and love God with the whole of our lives. The apostle Paul reminds us that true worship is the offering of our very selves. Let us come before God with an open heart and listening ear. Help us ponder the question, “What do I value most?” and answer the question from the perspective of those closest to us and from the perspective of God. Help us learn about ourselves through their eyes and through God’s eyes.  Let us see the ways our lives reflect “true worship” born of offering ourselves as a “living sacrifice” as well as the ways we have failed to fully worship God.  And let us understand how what we worship needs to change.  Amen.

New Prayer Requests:

We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane at

Prayers of Intercession:

  • For the people of Ukraine whose lives continue to be shattered by war.
  • For those grieving or suffering due to the ~3,800 gun violence deaths that happened in the US since the start of the new year.
  • For the family and friends of The Rev. James R. Kelley, Sr., who died January 9, 2023. He served at Old South Church in Boston as well as at many schools, academies, and universities. Following his retirement Jim was appointed to the Barnstable Police Department as Chaplain to the Department and member of the domestic violence unit. 
  • For those suffering from depression and anxiety.

Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:

This Week in History:

February 11, 1990 (33 years ago): Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years. [History

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

Debbie Anne Rundlett

Pastor of Ridgebury Congregational Church, CT, and Director of The Meetinghouse, a place to gather, grow and flourish.

February 06, 2023
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