As we prepare for Lent, how will we listen to Jesus?


Stained glass window at Trinity Church

How many times have you wondered, “Was that last week, or a month ago?” when trying to remember when something happened? COVID-tide has certainly made it difficult to track time. 

But the coming week offers us some perennial time markers. Sunday is Valentine’s Day — a day that can be joyful or fraught, depending on circumstance or perspective. It’s also Transfiguration Sunday, signaling we are making the turn from the season of light and revelation — Epiphany — to the season of Lent, one of self-examination and repentance.

In our Gospel story, Jesus appears with two of the great prophets — Moses, who gave the Law, and Elijah, who shows God’s power through the Spirit. Peter is excited and wants to build shelters. Perhaps he wants to stop time, since there is such a mighty threesome there. But God’s time is not guided by human boundaries like the clock’s minutes or hours (chronos). Rather God’s time gives the present moment new meaning (kairos), and we are called to a new way. In this holy moment, a voice says, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!", leaving no doubt what we need to do.   

As we prepare for Lent, how will we listen to Jesus? What prayers and practices of self-examination and repentance can we engage to pull us out our time-bound view of the world so we can be transfigured and transformed? What will it look like for you, for me, for us, to have new and contrite hearts as we follow Christ?