Profile picture
Diana Butler Bass @dianabutlerbass
, 26 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Today is the last Sunday before Lent, called Transfiguration Sunday. Mark 9:2-9 is today's lectionary reading: 1/
This reading is a sleepy-headed story, a tale of really tired disciples. And it is a story about waking up. 2/
These events follow a very exhausting period in Jesus' ministry. Crowds were growing, the movement had come under scrutiny by authorities, Peter had recognized Jesus as the Messiah. 3/
Jesus responded by promising that if his followers “lose their lives” for the sake of love, they will see the kingdom of God. 4/
In other words, this is the high point of Jesus' mission. He and his close associated are really tired. So, Jesus essentially takes them on a mini-retreat to pray. 5/
There they have 2 spiritual experiences. The FIRST: A jolt, like waking up quickly in the morning, putting on one’s glasses, focusing on something in an unexpected way. They see Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah! 6/
THEY SEE THE GLORY. But they don't entirely "get" it. For them, this becomes an "object" of a miracle. And, of course, they want to build a temple to enshrine it. 7/
Because we humans always like putting walls around wild, unexpected divine things. Life is safer that way. 8/
But then, a SECOND experience: A cloud "overshadows" them. Really, a fog envelops the group. 9/
They are no longer looking at Jesus, rather they are with him in the cloud. Indeed, Jesus has, in effect, led them into this place. The cloud is, of course, divine presence. And they are terrified. 10/
Because -- think of this -- They are within God. Within God! 11/
Ancient Hebrew stories say that the cloud is God, the cloud hovered over the temple; and at night you could see that there was a fire within the cloud. So, this isn’t a typical fog, the kind of cloud that obscures sight. It is a cloud that burns, at its center is light. 12/
In this place, a voice spoke to them. Their eyes opened to see as they never could see before. In a cloud that appeared to obscure vision, their ability to see more deeply was birthed. They could see their friend, Jesus, as God’s chosen one. 13/
The disciples were no longer afraid. They were different. Jesus wasn't transfigured. He was the same person he'd always been. The disciples were transfigured. Transformed by the vision of being within God. 14/
I think of this passage as revealing two kinds of spiritual awakening. 15/
The 1st is waking up with “hard eyes,” the result of something unexpected, the lurch of surprise that pulls us out of routine to being suddenly awake. Like seeing your teacher w/ two prophets discussing his impending death when you really just want to be taking a nap. 16/
Of this awakening, Parker Palmer says: "When we are taken by surprise, there is a sudden narrowing of r visual periphery that exacerbates the fight or flight response-an intense, fearful, self-defensive focusing. . .that is associated w/ physical and intellectual combat.” 17/
In the first “seeing,” the disciples saw with “hard eyes.” The result was control and power. Wanting to build a great religion. They probably were thinking that, with Moses & Elijah on Jesus’ side, they could easily bring down their Roman overlords. Herod would be toast. 18/
But they needed to see more deeply, they needed an experience of a second seeing, that of “soft eyes.” 19/
Conflict resolution teachers, Rod Windle & Suzanne Warren, say:
“Soft eyes happen when we relax the muscles around our eyes and let ourselves see with our peripheral vision as well as with our central, focused vision...." 20/
"....We see the individual in front of us, but we also see the people to either side, the clock above his head, the lights on the ceiling and the pattern on the floor. We take in everything and are distracted by nothing . . . " 21/
"...As our eyes see more, somehow our brains become more open to the diversity of possibilities that always surround us. Soft eyes also tend to have a calming effect on the people around us, and often on ourselves as well." 22/
When the disciples saw with soft eyes, they fell silent. They probably didn’t know what to say. How can you explain that your entire field of vision has changed? That you have been within the center of love and compassion? 23/
Within the cloud, whatever its counters, they surely saw everything was within God’s grace and mercy, that everyone was enveloped by love. The whole world was now visible with their soften eyes, and those soft eyes created equally soft hearts. 24/
Soft eyes. Soft hearts. And that is what is needed to transfigure the world. 25/
(As always, please forgive any typos, syntax issues with my Sunday tweet sermon. Blessings to you this day! Wake up with soft eyes to the world around you.) 26/
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Diana Butler Bass
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!