This week we will commemorate Transfiguration Sunday, when Jesus was transfigured on a Mountain in the presence of three of His disciples. The Lectionary scriptures for Transfiguration Sunday this year includes II Corinthians 3:15-17, “Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their (our) minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Much attention this past week was focused on the United Methodist Church (UMC) debate on whether to recognize with full inclusion LGBTQ people. Since 2001, the UMC’s brand promise has been “Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.” I was saddened when the veil of homophobia was NOT removed for our Methodist LGBTQ siblings and they didn’t find the freedom they sought in the UMC as it voted to reject their brand promise this week.

The following is an excerpt from an open letter of the United Church of Christ (UCC) to the UMC. “We hold in prayer those whose past wounds have been reopened by the recent debates of the governing body gathered in St. Louis. The Body of Christ has, throughout its long history, not always been kind and loving to those who live outside its established norms and conformities. We confess to our own history and complicity with racism, misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia. Our hope is that we can and will continue to struggle with our closed hearts and minds as we seek to live more fully into the vision of God’s shalom for all.”

While the inability to live more fully in the freedom of God’s shalom is often caused by bad religion, as it was this week in St. Louis, sometimes it is aided by veils we allow over our own minds.

Join us in worship on this Transfiguration Sunday. In an effort to help lift any veil keeping us from God’s shalom, my sermon will be “Transfiguration – From Veil to Freedom” based on II Corinthians 3:12 – 4:2 and Luke 9:28-35.