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Epiphany 2023: Shine As The Sun

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Epiphany 2023: Shine As The Sun

Epiphany 2023: Shine As The Sun

Series: Epiphany 2023

Speaker: Brian Zahnd


The Transfiguration on Tabor is the turning point in the gospel story of Jesus. Here Jesus outshines the Law and Prophets represented by Moses and Elijah. Here we learn that Jesus Christ is what God has to say. Here we see the eschatological anticipation of creation made resplendent in glory. And here the light of the world shines as the sun from the face of Jesus Christ.


Here is the selection from Rushdie's essay on the Taj Mahal that I will read. (It's in the introduction to The Unvarnished Jesus.)


The problem with the Taj Mahal is that it has become so overlaid with accumulated meanings as to be almost impossible to see. When you arrive at the outer walls of the gardens in which the Taj is set, it’s as if every hustler and hawker in Agra is waiting for you to make the familiarity-breeds-contempt problem worse, peddling imitation Mahals of every size and price. This leads to a certain amount of shoulder-shrugging disenchantment. Recently, a British friend who was about to make his first visit to India told me that he had decided to leave the Taj off his itinerary because of its over-exposure. If I urged him not to, it’s because of my own vivid memory of pushing my way for the first time through the jostling crowd of imitation-vendors, past all the myriad hawkers of meaning and interpretation, and into the presence of the thing itself, which utterly overwhelmed me, and made all my notions about its devaluation feel totally and completely redundant. The building itself left my skepticism in shreds. Announcing itself as itself, insisting with absolute force on its sovereign authority, it simply obliterated the million million counterfeits of it and glowingly filled, once and forever, the place in the mind previously occupied by its simulacra.