More than Meets the Eye!Fr. Barnabas Powell
When I was young, I enjoyed a cartoon called “Transformers.” The theme song was “Transformers; more than meets the eye! Transformers; robots in disguise!”
The whole premise of the show was that these Transformers looked like regular cars or machinery, but they were really more than that. Nowadays one of this year’s summer blockbuster Hollywood movies is “Pacific Rim,” which is all about these giant robots!
Throughout the centuries and across all kinds of cultures, the idea of transformation is a common theme. It’s built into our common human psyche. Each of us innately know we can be transformed into something more. And it is that drive that causes us to long for transformation – from the eternal weight loss industry, to cosmetics, to elective surgery, to self-help books, to hours spent in therapy; all of us, to one degree or another, believe we either should be or could be transformed.
The Apostle Paul called the transformation we are offered in our Orthodox faith, the “new birth.” He writes “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
I will go so far to say that if a faith doesn’t offer us a path to transformation, then what good is it? After all, faith is about becoming “by grace what Christ is by nature” in our Orthodox Church, and that sounds very much like a transformation that changes everything.
As we enter into the afterfeast of the Transfiguration, and we continue our journey toward the Feast of the Dormition, it isn’t a mistake that these celebrations are so close together.
Much of what drives the sickness of my own soul is the fear of death; this terrifying awareness of my own mortality. Because of this fear, my selfishness and self-centeredness is magnified and perpetuated. But, if I have the courage to embrace the invitation by Christ to be “transfigured” like Him; if I embrace the spiritual work of cooperation with the Holy Spirit to make me a “new creature,” I am confronted with the freedom from the fear of death. And this freedom works its glorious way through every aspect of my life and I am truly transformed!
Today, this invitation to join Christ on the mountain of Transfiguration is continually extended to you. Today, you can either continue the journey of transformation by God’s grace, or you can renew your journey of transformation by God’s grace. No matter where you are; no matter what state your spiritual life is in; no matter how far you may “feel” from God; today you can embrace the journey of transformation. You can allow the wisdom of the faith to seep into every nook and cranny of your life and be made a new creature in Christ.
Why not begin or commit to continuing this transformation process in your life? Today, keep saying “yes” to the “new creation” God intends for you to be. Embrace the chance to be changed. Rush headlong into the arms of God and allow His love to heal every part of your broken heart.
You were made to be transformed by grace. You really are “more than meets the eye.”