Sunday 3rd March 2019
Last Sunday after Epiphany

Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-36, [37-43a]

Holiness and the glory of God are the defining themes of todayís readings. At first sight, these might appear to point us away from the mundane and everyday of life to seek higher spiritual plains. But throughout these readings there is an inescapable connection with the world around us. Moses radiates the holiness of God, but he appears with the tablets of the law in his hands - a law that engages with scores of everyday issues and situations, that embraces the working lives of Godís people; their land, livelihoods and every other aspect of being. Peter is keen to build shelters and preserve the moment of glory when Jesus is transfigured, but their focus is quickly returned to the realities that surround them.

Our encounters with a Holy God are not a means of escape from lifeís challenges and experience, but intended to equip us to engage with them afresh. As Paul reminds his readers, our faith is displayed not by removing ourselves from the world around us, but engaging in its endeavours with values and attitudes that are shaped and defined by the faith that we share. We persevere without losing heart, renounce that which is shameful, refuse to practice cunning and live by the truth. Holiness is not expressed by removing ourselves from this world, but by living differently within it; our workplaces might be one of the most challenging environments in which to fulfil that calling, but can also be the place where it becomes most evident.