Week of: March 3, 2019
Scripture: Luke 9:28-36, (37-43a)
While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"
(Luke 9:34-35, NRSV)
At my last eye exam, the doctor asked me if I hit my head during the last year. I laughed, saying that I probably had hit it digging under the bottom shelf looking for fabric I needed for a visual display. In the midst of my joking, the doctor showed me a picture of my right eye. There was something akin to a small bite taken out of the back of my eye which causes a transition to blurred vision when I am tired. I am still unnerved when my vision is unexpectedly "clouded."
For worship artists, the transition to Lent is significant and we can get lost in the "cloud." How we approach sharing the scripture through music, visuals, dance, instruments, written word, and spoken word takes on an urgency. We can feel the fear of being lost, the clouds of stress and uncertainty seeping into us as we plan for the season. "Do I have the forces to pull this anthem off?" "Why can’t I find that one right word for the liturgy I am writing?" "Will the supplies I need get here in time?" "Why do I feel so empty this season?"
We too often want to stay at the mountaintop with Christ, but "clouds" will come. Do not be afraid! These clouds are places of transfiguration for ministry. From the midst of the cloud comes the voice of God, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him." This same voice calls to you saying, "You are my child. Open your life to me and you will be transformed into something even more beautiful."
God is with us in the clouds, on the mountains, and in the valleys of our ministry. Dance, sing, draw, paint, sew, and preach knowing that God is whispering to you in the midst of your transformation, "I love you. You are beautiful, gifted, and wonderfully made. I have chosen you."
Speak to me loudly when I am lost in the clouds of life. Call me into this Lenten season full of the assurance that I am deeply loved by you. Whisper to me over and over, "Do not be afraid. Listen to my Son, my Chosen" and allow me to be transformed.
Minister of Worship and Mission
Bellevue United Methodist Church
Photo: Clouds are seen above the mountains at Lake Junaluska during Music & Worship Arts Week 2018. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)