Epiphany ends with the Transfiguration of Jesus upon the mountaintop. With all the power of The Law (Moses) and The Prophets (Elijah) in His hands, Jesus lived so we might realize the true promise of our full humanity. Peter, James and John experienced the Epiphany of Jesus’ power and wanted to elevate Jesus and His message beyond our reach. They longed for God’s message of hope and presence yet when the message became real they wanted to keep it ‘up it in the mountains’.
We, too, long for affirmation of our potential and, like the disciples, many of us hide or diminish the message once we receive it. Are we afraid of what will be expected of us if we live into our full potential? Jesus reminded His three disciples that the real Glory of God is lived in community and not apart from it – side by side, through think and thin, on the plains and in the valleys. We are our best when we lift each other up.
Mr. Rogers taught a generation of children to care about all the people in their ‘neighborhoods.’ He told us how ‘very special’ we were and that there was ‘nobody else’ just like us. His familiar routines, though silly to adults, were intended to be a comfort to children whose lives were in turmoil and chaos. Rev. Fred Rogers (a Presbyterian) and his ‘Neighborhood of Make-Believe’ brought Jesus’ message of the Kingdom of God to ‘life’. The jokes and the mocking could not hide the light of his message.
Relevant Magazine ran an article on Mr. Rogers and his 10 best quotes. Here are just a few.
- “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” —Spoken in 1994, quoted in his obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- “You know, I think everybody longs to be loved, and longs to know that he or she is lovable. And, consequently, the greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they’re loved and capable of loving.” —America’s Favorite Neighbor (television documentary), 2003.
- “I believe that appreciation is a holy thing, that when we look for what’s best in the person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does; so in appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something truly sacred. —Commencement Address at Middlebury College May, 2001
- “What do you think it is that drives people to want far more than they could ever use or need? I frankly think it’s insecurity. How do we let the world know that the trappings of this life are not the things that are ultimately important for being accepted?”
From The World According to Mister Rogers:
- “Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”
- “As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has–or ever will have–something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”
- “Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love. Like all of life’s important coping skills, the ability to forgive and the capacity to let go of resentments most likely take root very early in our lives.”
- “The real issue in life is not how many blessings we have, but what we do with our blessings. Some people have many blessings and hoard them. Some have few and give everything away.”
May we have ears and hearts to hear,