Edited By Zachary Guiliano and Cameron Partridge
3. Preaching on the Hinges of the Holy: Toward a Homiletic Theology of the Christian Liturgical Year
Cameron E. Partridge
EACH YEAR as the season of Epiphany draws to a close, I look forward to preaching on one of my favorite days in the liturgical year: Transfiguration Sunday.1 On this day, the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) offers the strange story of Jesus’ mountaintop converse with Moses and Elijah, paired with Pauline language of transformation and Hebrew Bible stories of Moses’ glowing face or Elijah’s fiery ascent. Linking as it does the liturgical cycles of Incarnation and Pascha, the placement of Transfiguration Sunday on the border between Epiphany and Lent does several things at once.2 The day enacts liturgically its biblical function as “gateway to the saving events of the gospel,” to serve as a “mirror in which the Christian mystery is seen in its unity.”3 It also brings the entire season of Epiphany to its fulfillment, as several features of the Gospels’ Transfiguration accounts echo those of the baptism of Jesus, which congregations will have marked at the season’s start.4 As the preacher takes up ← 59 | 60 → the biblical texts within this liturgical context, s/he has an opportunity to intensify this linkage, to illumine the connection between this holy threshold and the community’s ongoing growth into the full stature of Christ.5
Transfiguration Sunday is one of the most dramatic examples of what I am terming “hinge days” in the Christian liturgical year: days that mark the borders or hinges between its seasons, transitions within the wider “calendrical narrative,” into which...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.