I predict Sunday will be unordinary. Hopefully it will be the Scripture, not the new preacher, that fulfills this prophecy. It’s Transfiguration Sunday, when the church celebrates its version of Halloween.
At the top of the mountain we find clouds that speak with the sound of God's voice. We notice clothes that turn white. We see the face of Jesus change appearance. And there, on the top of the mountain, are two Old Testament prophets—back from the dead, present in glory, chatting about the departure of Jesus in Jerusalem. We join three terrified disciples—unable to speak sensibly about what they see—speechless until one of them suggests that they build tents. The other two just stand there staring at the strangeness.
What are we supposed to do with this story? Prophets returning, Jesus transfigured, God speaking out of a cloud and Peter scrambling to pitch tents. Peter's response seems out of place. Its too small for the moment and it’s just doesn’t fit the occasion. It’s like laughing at a funeral or sobbing at Dave and Busters. Nobody knows what to do, so Peter determines to do something—because doing something constructive might bring meaning to this mystery—so this transitory, fleeting occasion can remain in place. The movement can then become an institution and the tents are the artifact—evidence that the mountaintop madness wasn't a dream.
We’ll continue this conversation on Sunday. Hopefully it will be as unordinary an occasion as necessary.
Amos Disasa is the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. He previously served most recently as a co-pastor of Downtown Church in Columbia, South Carolina. Amos graduated from Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. and Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. He and his wife Sarah have two children.