February 19, 2012: The Gosp Accd 2 Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory

Posted on : Feb 16th, 2012 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

“The Edge of Glory” is my most favorite Lady Gaga dance song.  It is awesome!   As soon as the song beings, the dance floor becomes electric.  It is sheer ecstasy – not the drug, the music.

Now, most of us know what most folks are thinking about when that song starts.

“I’m on the edge, the edge, the edge,
the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge,
I’m on the edge of glory,
and I’m hanging on a moment with you
I’m on the edge with you.”

But that’s not what it’s about!  At least, not exactly.

When I read through the full text of the song, I said, “Oh my God!  This song is a contemporary rendering of the Biblical story of the transfiguration of Jesus!”  So, you think I’m crazy?  Look at the text and the graphics of these two (in the block above).  They are both about transcendent experiences of love.

“Transcendence” simply means:
exceeding usual limits,
surpassing, extending or going beyond the limits of ordinary experience.

In theology or spirituality it means:
transcending the universe, transcending time,
often “of, with, or in God.”

Unfortunately, in Christian theology, “transcendence” has been given over to define or describe “God,” as if God is “out there, beyond us.”  So that separates us from God and puts us far away or out of touch from God.  That isn’t what transcendence is about.  Transcendence is about experiencing that which is beyond us or greater than us while we have both feet firmly on the ground.

Music is transcendent.  Spirituality is transcendent.  Nature can help us experience transcendence.  Transcendence take us “to the edge of glory” while our feet are still firmly planted on the ground.  And that is why this is such a fabulous dance song – literally.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus takes the three lead disciples:  Peter, James and John, up on a mountain top.  This story is where the expression “mountain top experience” comes from.  The reality is, somewhere, somehow in this journey with the disciples, they have to experience that Jesus is one with God.  And this story is it.  Peter, James and John get to experience the fullness of God in Jesus in a way that no one else had.  It is an “edge of glory” experience.  Jesus forbids them to tell anyone of this experience of “glory” until after his death and resurrection.

I’ve felt for many years that one of the reasons we have so much violence in our culture is that we have lost touch with the sense of “awe” or “glory” or “meaning of life” beyond our own individual experience.   If you do not have an awareness of or appreciation for the experience of life as something greater or more meaningful than your own personal experience, life can become very “dark and meaningless.”  If you have no connection with the Holy, or with others, it is much easier to pull out a gun and shoot someone.  Their life, their death is meaningless to you.  I am convinced the rise in violence in our culture is directly proportional to the decline in religion and the arts.

The Edge of Glory is about transcendent love – a love so powerful it “crosses over into the next world” or “into God.”

This Sunday we’re going to have an “Edge of Glory” experience in worship!  It is after all, the last Sunday before Lent.  We’ll make it kind of a Mardi Gras Sunday!




~ This Sunday’s Scriptures ~

Mark 9: 2-9

The Transfiguration of Jesus.
Peter, James and John experience Jesus transfigured before their eyes.

Jesus took Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone.

And there Jesus was transfigured before their eyes; the clothes Jesus wore became dazzlingly white – whiter than any earthly bleach could make them.

Elijah appeared to them, as did Moses, and the two were talking with Jesus.  Then Peter spoke to Jesus.  “Rabbi,” he said, “how wonderful it is for us to be here!  Let us make three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah!”  Peter did not know what he was saying, so overcome were they all with awe.

Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them; and there came a voice from out of the cloud:  “This is my Beloved, my Own; listen to this One.”  Then suddenly, when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore – only Jesus.

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