6-24-15 - Christ the Transformer

Soon after I got to the church I now serve, I suggested we choose a new name. The church was a merger of two small congregations, and they had simply put the two names together, resulting in a name that was long, theologically confusing and hard for many to remember. I felt we needed a new name to reflect our new life. The question then became: what? On the way to “Christ the Healer,” our name now, we went through quite a few. And one of those I wished with all my heart we could have taken – but it would have required too much explaining – was “Christ the Transformer.”

I’m reminded of this by Jesus’ statement in our story that he felt power go out from him when the unseen woman who suffered from incessant bleeding touched his clothes in hopes of being healed:

Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’

It is amazing that that Jesus could feel something had happened to him in that moment, and knew someone had touched his clothes. His disciples are incredulous, saying to him, 

‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?” ’

Beyond that awareness, though, is the fact that he felt an energy transfer from him to another person. This is one of the bible passages that make me think that God is pure energy, of a frequency we could not withstand were it not mediated for us. And that is what an electric transformer does: it takes energy running on one current and transforms it so it can be used by appliances wired for a different current. Transformers were common in my household as we lived overseas for much of my childhood.

Jesus was the Transformer extraordinaire, taking the energy current that birthed the universe and translating, mediating, making it usable for God’s creatures. Even so, we can sometimes find the current too strong; that’s why people might rest in the Spirit during Pentecostal services, or we feel heat or tingling when we pray. Part of what it means to grow in faith, I believe, is to become able to withstand and channel a higher and higher frequency of spiritual power.

For we too become transformers, as we grow into the likeness and ministry of Christ. We too receive the power of the heavens and transform it into a current that “runs appliances” – lifting up the lowly, healing the infirm, forgiving the unforgivable, feeding the forgotten. Every single time we exercise faith in the name of Christ, we are mediating the power of the heavens to bring transformation and life to the things and creatures and people of this world.

Where have you been a transformer lately? Where are you called to mediate the power of heaven into someone’s life?

Tonight I will participate in an interfaith Prayer Vigil in Stamford, to remember those murdered a week ago at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. We are gathering, people of faith of different traditions, all there to bring the heavenly into the earthly, to allow God to redeem, renew, revive, restore all things to wholeness, through us. Even this broken country. Even our broken hearts. Pray for us.

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