Midweek Message

LABC Update – Saturday, February 10, 2024

Jim Hopkins

February 7, 2024

Happy Birthday Karen Hopkins!


A Reflection for the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday and Transfiguration Sunday

To be a Super Bowl quarterback is to be famous. The average American may not be able to name the United States Secretary of State yet it is more than likely that they can tell you that Brock Purdy is the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers and that Patrick Mahomes is the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, the two teams playing in tomorrow’s Super Bowl.

An average citizen may also be able to tell you that both Purdy and Mahomes can be accurately described as young, poised and as having “good field vision.” These famous athletes see what their opponents are trying to do and, in the moment, respond accordingly. They make accurate, almost instantaneous, decisions based on the rapidly changing picture before them.

This week’s gospel story, the Transfiguration of Jesus, gives three of his disciples, Peter, James and John, the opportunity to, like Super Bowl quarterbacks, develop and demonstrate good field vision; the occasion to see the big picture and to respond accordingly.

On a mountain top away from the crowds, the three see a vision of  the eternal identity of their friend and teacher. Before their eyes his clothes become dazzling white, he engages in conversation with the quintessential law-giver Moses and the quintessential prophet Elijah, a cloud overshadows them and from the cloud a voice proclaims “This is my Son, whom I dearly love. Listen to him.” Good field vision on their part is to recognize Jesus’ divine identity, that he is the teacher of teachers, the prophet of prophets, that he is truly God in our midst.”

On that mountain top they are given the opportunity to see that Jesus does not stand apart from the tradition of the law and the prophets but is a living expression of that tradition. Good field vision on their part is the recognition that they don’t need a new faith to follow Jesus but rather what they need is to embrace the faith the already have in new ways.

On that mountain top they are given the opportunity to see that the moment they are experiencing is likely a once in a lifetime experience. Their first response is to try and stop time, to keep everything in place, to suggest putting up portable temples and moving-in. Good field vision on their part is to reach the conclusion that such moments cannot be contained, frozen or mass-produced but rather treasured, remembered and internalized.

Peter, James and John wanted to stay on the mountain, in the cloud, with Jesus, Moses and Elijah and the Voice forever. Good field vision meant seeing that they needed to head back down the mountain to the world of fear, loss and misunderstanding. Good field vision meant coming to the understanding their highest call was not to escape the world but rather, with Jesus as their eternal guide, to embrace it.

Go Niners,

Pastor Jim

Today on LABC Zoom – Pastor Carolyn leads A Time For Prayer 10:00

Online: https://zoom.us/j/8599095914
Dial-in: 1 669 900 9128

Meeting ID: 859 909 5914
Password: 192833


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Today at LABC – Forever Young in the Family Room, 12:30 Lunch followed by a concert (approximately 1:15) with Julian Nesbitt and Justin McCoy. Please RSVP with Minister Sandra