CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith and Life from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter…
I remember how intrigued I was when I learned that people did not just read the Bible but saw lines of meaning that ran through it. I was especially fascinated by “The Messianic Secret” in Mark. Over and over again, Jesus would work miracles and do other neat stuff that indicated that he was special, so special he was probably even the predicted Messiah of Hebrew scripture and tradition, but, strangely, he kept telling everybody to keep quiet about it.
The Gospel reading for this week is Mark’s story of “The Transfiguration,” when Jesus goes up onto the mountain and his disciples see him chatting with Moses and Elijah, the two major characters in Hebrew history.
He’s one of them! Our friend, Jesus, knows the main guys. We are on the inside.
It’s impressive when someone you know in turn knows someone important. We have friends who let us eat off plates made by Pete Seeger’s sister. It’s almost like knowing Pete.
When our granddaughter was young she wanted to meet Mark Twain and figured if he were alive I could introduce her to Mark. I knew some important writers, like Bob Hammel and Marcus Borg. So she figured I would know any good writer.
It’s like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. I know Bob Hammel, who knows Bob Knight, who knew Phog Allen, who knew James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, who knew Ugla, the cave woman who invented the basket. So if you ask me, I say, “Oh, yes, Ugla, good woman. I knew her well.”
So the disciples of course wanted to go tell everybody what they had seen up there on the mountain, but Jesus said, “No. Keep your mouths shut about this.” That’s hard to do.
I was walking at the mall recently, not where I prefer to walk, but it was way below freezing outdoors, with ice on the sidewalks. I’m glad I did, because a little girl, barely able to walk and almost talk, saw me coming and held up her grubby little hand and with a big smile said, “I got candy.” If you have good news, you want to share it.
Maybe that’s why Jesus told the disciples to be quiet about that mountain top experience. It wasn’t good news that Peter and James and John had. It was just celebrity news, by which they could strut their inside stuff in front of those who missed it.
There’s a difference between good news and celebrity news. We are so intrigued by celebrity news that we forget: good news isn’t just for those who have the right connections. Good news is for everybody.
Spoiler Alert: If you have read this column in the last 3 months, all that follows is old news [except for the bit about the ice storm]:
I tweet occasionally as yooper1721.
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] Having met and married while at IU in Bloomington, IN, we became Bloomarangs in May of 2015, moving back to where we started, closing the circle. We no longer live in the land of winter, but I am in the winter of my years, and there is an ice storm predicted for Bloomington this morning, so I am still trying to understand Christ in winter.
Katie Kennedy is the rising star in YA lit. [She is also our daughter.] She is published by Bloomsbury, which also publishes lesser authors, like JK Rowling. Her latest book is, What Goes Up. It’s published in hardback, paperback, audio, and electronic, from B&N, Amazon, etc.