2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Dr ML King, Jr.
I want today to speak a little about change, about transformation, about being affirmed, being renewed. Setting a course for your life, and once that has been determined, to get to that better place, or destination, that is more than just a geographical or physical location, but a place, or location where you can live and be the best of who and what you are, or will be continues.
What I’m talking about is your striving and journeying to live into who and what you are, and realizing that you are being-or-becoming in sync with both who and what God created you to do and be…
This process happens with us and for us both individually and collectively in our institutions and organizations, such as our “Beloved Church St. Peter’s.”
Beloved, that’s word we’re going to spend some time with this morning. What does beloved entail, what are some of its understandings, and implications? What is the nature and intent of “Beloved?” Dictionaries define “Beloved; as dear to the heart, dearly loved, cherished, and precious.
In Biblical applications and usage Nehemiah 13:26, uses beloved to describe King Solomon, in Deuteronomy 33:12 and Jeremiah 11:15, God has chosen a people as God’s beloved to separate and give special attention to, to use to save the world. In the New Testament, there are earlier echoes of what we read in todays texts; at Jesus’ baptism God the Father speaks about Jesus as he emerges from his baptismal waters saying;
“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matt. 3:17, Mk 1:11, and Lk 3:22). Then the Holy Spirit descended like a dove and perched on Him.
And in the readings of today God, again calls Jesus “beloved” on the Mount of Transfiguration: “This is my Beloved Son, with whom I am pleased; “Listen to Him.”(Matt. 17:5), agape-love is the transliteration of which the word or term belove again emerges.
Fourthly, but not exhaustingly the Apostle Paul speaks of how believers of Christ Jesus are the beneficiaries of the glorious grace of God, which God has blessed us as the “Beloved.”
So there is something hopeful, something transformational, in being called, in having the endearing term “Beloved” attached to salutations and acknowledgements directed to you. It implies you are cherished and precious in the sight of God, that you are dearly loved.
So, as we prepare to enter the season of Lent concluding and covenanting with our Easter celebration which we prepare for during Lent, Christ Jesus our Lord was doing the same.
Jesus was being prepared and preparing Himself for Golgotha, for Mt. Zion, for saving and redeeming us, because God, our Father in Heaven dearly loved us, and we were and are precious in the sight and presence of the LORD!
What we encounter on at Mt. Transfiguration is both the human Jesus, and the divine Christ, the transcendent portions of our Triune God…lime us, but more than two natures, un-confused being aligned and set for what’s before Him.
Calling us to be more, to do that which we are gifted to do, to live into loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, to love God with our whole heart, our whole mind, all our strength… to radically adjust our living, our being.
Dr. ML King, Jr. When speaking of the Beloved Community and its radical formation required into bringing it into being preached;
“Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls, as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
Dr King continued;
“Love is creative and redemptive. Love builds up and unites; hate tears down and destroys. The aftermath of the ‘fight with fire’ method which you suggest is bitterness and chaos, the aftermath of the love method is reconciliation and creation of the beloved community. Physical force can repress, restrain, coerce, destroy, but it cannot create and organize anything permanent; only love can do that. Yes, love-the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends.”
As I prepare to conclude let me say and share, that being the “Beloved” of God, yes we are dearly loved by God, we are precious in the sight of Christ Jesus, but there does however exist an understanding and expectation of how we as the “Beloved,” will live, act and reflect the love of God back upon and into God’s creation.
In the fourth chapter of the 2nd Corinthian text today, the Apostle Paul speaks somewhat of those expectations stating;
“…even if our gospel is veiled/covered…because the demons/hounds of hell in this world has blinded the minds and hearts of unbelievers, so they can not see the light of the gospel, the glory(El Shekinah) of God…we are to preach in our walk, our witness, our faith, our concern, our care…”
Transfiguration, Jesus was changed, after all this is “Transfiguration Sunday,” Jesus in the text we read was being changed, the Greek word used is “METEMORPHOTHE” we get our word “metamorphosis” again meaning to change, to transform to become something different…
Jesus glowed, much like we read Moses glowed when he was on Mt. Sinai communing with God. So glowingly was Moses face he took to wearing a veil due to fear and reverence the Hebrews had when Moses was in their midst and out of the cloud that covered the mountain.
A cloud likewise covered the mountain Jesus was on, Moses and Elijah were there, two very revered prophets of God, and out of that cloud again the voice of God spoke, saying “This is my Son, the “Beloved,” listen to Him.”
Beloved, in all seasons and in all ties seek the Word of God, the Word of God, that became flesh, and dwell among us. Seek it intentionally, listen to him, be transformed by it, let the light of love, the light of hope shine from out of your heart into your world to bless others, and to bless you…
The light of Christ is the light of God, which is the “El Shekinah” the glory, the indwelling of God. Beloved, as you have been loved and transformed by God, you are to love others, and walk them, mentor them, teach them to know the nature, way and will of God, and they too will be transformed. Amen
This account closely parallels the story of Moses at Sinai (Exodus 24, 34).
• Three men accompanied Moses (Exodus 24:9; Mark 9:2).
• A cloud covered the mountain for six days, and God spoke from the cloud (Exodus 24:16; Mark 9:2, 7).
• Moses saw, at least in part, God’s glory (Exodus 33:17-23; Mark 9:3).
• The skin of Moses’ face shone dazzling bright (Exodus 34:30; Mark 9:3)
• The people of Israel were afraid (Exodus 34:30).
• On coming down from the mountain, Moses encountered faithless “disciples” (Exodus 32:7-8; Mark 9:14-29).