Skip to main content

saturday song: the transfiguration

tomorrow i'll be preaching on the transfiguration, and while it is certainly a fascinating story, it isn't one that many modern musicians are trying to tell through their music.

except for sufjan stevens, the eccentric and incredibly awesome (in my opinion) indie artist who resides in new york city and makes some of the coolest music ever.  sort of paul simon meets phillip glass meets chris martin meets a bible scholar.  sufjan stevens is not afraid to write songs with obvious Biblical references and connections, even when he's writing about his love for michigan, or about a serial killer.  this particular song, though, is all about the transfiguration, and while the video is homemade and not that great, it's worth hearing the man strum his banjo and sing about this strange story. 

the transfiguration - sufjan stevens

When he took the three disciples
to the mountainside to pray,

his countenance was modified, his clothing was aflame.

Two men appeared: Moses and Elijah came;

they were at his side.

The prophecy, the legislation spoke of whenever he would die.

Then there came a word

of what he should accomplish on the day.

Then Peter spoke, to make of them a tabernacle place.

A cloud appeared in glory as an accolade.

They fell on the ground.

A voice arrived, the voice of God,

the face of God, covered in a cloud.

What he said to them,

the voice of God: the most beloved son.

Consider what he says to you, consider what's to come.

The prophecy was put to death,

was put to death, and so will the Son.

And keep your word, disguise the vision till the time has come.

Lost in the cloud, a voice: Have no fear! We draw near!

Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Turn your ear!

Lost in the cloud, a voice: Lamb of God! We draw near!

Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Son of God!


Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …