12 step Eucharist St. Marks, August 7, 2019
Tonight, at this 12 step Eucharist we are celebrating the Feast of the Transfiguration which was yesterday. We are remembering when Jesus is revealed on a high mountain to three of his disciples as the incarnation of God. Anyone in 12 step recovery can identify immediately with transfiguration, seeing the light, a moment of clarity, encountering the God who has been there all along within us, but we never saw before because we were busy making “dwellings” for other idols, alcohol, food, drugs, work, etc.
Moments of transfiguration occur in our lives when we are transported from our deep unconscious sleep to a moment of conscious bright light when we see, feel, taste, and touch God. Transfiguration is also about experiencing our own true nature, the part of God inside of us. It is the moment when all else falls away and we are simply of God, and have the desire to turn our life and our will over to the care of God. It is that moment when we let go, and let God.
Richard Rohr believes we cannot see God in others until we first see God within ourselves. So, recovery is seeing God first within ourselves that then leads us to being able to see God in others. We encounter that person who once annoyed us, and we begin to notice a tiny glimpse of the face of God and our only response is now love./
“If we want to find God, then honor God within ourselves, and we will always see God beyond us. For it is only God in us who knows where and how to look for God.”1
Frederick Buechner reminds us that as we see God within ourselves, we begin to see God in situations we never saw before: “the face of a man walking his child in the park, a woman picking peas in the garden, sometimes even the unlikeliest person listening to a concert, standing barefoot in the sand watching the waves roll in, or just sitting with friends at a Saturday baseball game in July. Every once and so often, something so touching, so incandescent, so alive transfigures the human face that it's almost beyond bearing.”2
Transfiguration is the message and the promise of recovery, seeing the face of God first in ourselves and then in others. Tonight, we are gathered here to celebrate the transfiguration that recovery continually brings to our lives aa well as to the face of every person we will encounter.
1 Richard Rohr Adapted from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2009), 159-161.
2Frederick Buechner in Whistling in the Dark (HarperSanFrancisco 1988), p. 120.